ISLAMABAD, Jan 15: More than 25 years on the Capital Development Authority (CDA) has failed to take possession of land meant for G-12, a residential sector proposed for the people with modest means of earning.

As successive administrations of the capital city did not pay much attention to land for the sector, today it has become a happy hunting ground for encroachers.

The CDA`s failure becomes more evident after the Friday`s Supreme Court judgment, directing Imtiaz Inayat Elahi, the authority`s chairman, to ensure possession of 20,000 acres in Zone-III and Zone-IV from land grabbers.

On condition of anonymity, a senior CDA official said the 764-acre sector was announced in 1985 and the authority announced the land award in 1988.

The official said the land owners have been given compensation, except for a portion of built-up property. Not paying for the built-up property was `intriguing` for the official.

The matter becomes more intriguing as the official said during all these years the authority`s board never questioned the failure of CDA`s land directorate to purchase the built-up property. He blames political pressure and bureaucratic red tape for CDA`s inaction.

The official said the proposed sector was to house low income groups. “Around 5,000 housing units, 3,000 flats were to be established in a completely developed G-12 besides several parks, six schools, two colleges and a commercial markaz were part of the sector,” he said.

Today the G-12 has been taken over by encroachers. Houses have come up as its four-kilometre service road`s shows the CDA`s weakening grip.

On one side of the service road costly houses have been built in sectors G-11/1 and G-11/2 while on the opposite a commercial market has emerged.

But the people living on the land for G-12 don`t see themselves as encroachers.

Moin Khan Awan, who owns huge land in the sector, contested the fact that CDA paid compensation to owners, alleging that the authority “acquired land in documents only”.

He blamed the CDA of hoodwinking the people of three villages living on the land of G-12. “CDA has a track record of fooling people, snatching inherited land of villagers living in Islamabad for over a century,” insists Awan, who has been actively pursuing G-12`s case for the last 15 years.

“My late maternal grandfather who used to look after the affairs of the village could not resolve the matter because the authority was reluctant to pay land incentive to residents.” he said.

A shop owner, who was not ready to give his name for the fear of the market`s `union`, claimed that his business of `motor works` was more than a decade old. “This is my property.

CDA has to compensate us for this commercial property. Cost of my land and the shop is in millions,” he insisted.

The CDA spokesman maintains the authority knows about the encroachment of G-12, and is “working on several options” to get it back. About the authority`s failure to take possession of the land in over two decades, he said: “We are reinforcing our enforcement division and citizens will see a better change in the near future.”

When told that the built-up land of the village was not purchased by the CDA`s land directorate, leaving room open for corruption, he said: “I am not aware of this issue.”