ISLAMABAD: Indefinite delay in the completion of the Islamabad Valley housing project of the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) is worrying thousands of investors in the scheme.

“It was a shock for us when the DHA Valley management issued a letter asking the allottees to defer payment of last instalment (due on August 29) till further notice, because of a delay in progress,” Shahzad Khalil, who has a plot in the scheme, told The Express Tribune. Khalil, like many others, has paid 11 instalments along with the down payment for the plot.

In August 2008, DHA Islamabad announced a scheme for balloting of plots measuring five and eight marlas. “It was a unique and pointless exercise, as all applicants were declared successful,” said another person who has invested in the project.

“We have now learnt from sources that this is not purely a DHA project, but in fact a partnership with [Bahria Town’s CEO] Malik Riaz,” he added.

A senior DHA official confirmed the delay and told The Express Tribune on condition of anonymity that the number of people who bought plots in the project exceeds 50,000.

The official said that the delay was unjustified. He added that at the initial stages, the applicants were not informed that the project was a joint venture between DHA and real estate tycoon Malik Riaz.
An investor said, “This is like cheating. Why has DHA Islamabad done this and what will be the fate of those who have already paid?”

DHA Marketing Director Colonel Iqtidar refused to comment, saying that it was “the domain of the ISPR (Inter Services Public Relations) to deal with the media over all DHA-related matters.”

ISPR Director General Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas was unavailable for a comment despite repeated attempts.

The real estate tycoon could not be reached despite repeated attempts. However, an official of the Bahria Town Housing Society attended the call and promised to give Malik Riaz’s version but he did not respond till filing of this report late on Tuesday night.