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Five options for land compensation presented

ISLAMABAD, Sept 28: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) on Wednesday placed five options before the affected villagers of sectors H-16 and I-17 in order to solve the matter relating to the payment of compensation for their land.

Muhammad Ramzan Chaudhry, CDA legal adviser during the hearing of the compensation case told the single-member bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) comprising Chief Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rehman that authority was facing financial crunch so it was not in a position to pay Rs15 billion as compensation to the affected villagers.

He said the CDA board, after concerted efforts, identified some options and in case all these options were rejected, the authority would de-notify the acquired land.

CDA in its written reply said: “Possession of both the sectors has not been handed over to CDA as the villagers of the said sectors are still occupying the land in strict legal sense. Until the possession of the land is handed over to the CDA, the affected people are not entitled to get compensation and rehabilitation benefits.”

In its options, CDA offered the affected villagers “allotment of plots in the same sectors on the basis of land sharing formula” with a condition of handing over the possession of land.

In the other option, the CDA urged the villagers to wait till the government released the required funds as the authority demanded Rs15 billion from the federal government to pay them compensation. “As soon as the funds are approved and received from the federal government, the CDA will disburse the same among all the affected villagers,” the CDA reply said.

According to the third option, the authority offered Rs100 million per quarter installment to the affected villagers. The forth option is based on the possibilities of seeking joint venture for development of these sectors.

“In case the affected people do not agree to the above options, CDA would de-notify the acquired land as the civic body is in a process of amending the CDA ordinance 1960 to pave the way for carrying out the de-acquisition process, the fifth option said.

Raja Inam Ameen Minhas, one of the counsels of the affected people told the court that CDA was paying compensation to the influential people only.

He alleged the authority was using delaying tactics as it was not ready to fulfill the rightful demands of the poor affected villagers.

He recalled that the court in its earlier order of July 28, had given the CDA “last opportunity to settle the matter and make payments of compensation to the affected people within a period of two months.”

He pointed out that the CDA counsel on the said date also categorically stated that the civic body would make sincere efforts to pay the compensation to all the affected people during the current financial year.

The chief justice after hearing both the sides has given a week to the petitioners to examine the CDA`s options and adjourned the hearing.

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