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SWABI: Securing a house on rent in Swabi district and particularly in its Topi tehsil is an uphill task for outsiders as the district lacks proper housing colonies for the purpose. Besides, the house rent is higher in the district because of shortage of houses for rent.

Officials said that the number of outsiders coming to the district has increased manifold over the years. They said that houses could be acquired at the district headquarters, Shewa Adda, Yar Hussain, Chota Lahor and Tordher. People usually opt for these places because of their location at the junction of Mardan district and Nowshera and easy approach from Peshawar and Rawalpindi.

The district lacks permanent apartments and colonies or constructed sectors where a house could be acquired by the outsiders on rent. Laiq Ahmad, a businessman based in the district headquarters, said that the idea to build houses and earn through this business could not pick up here for unknown reasons, but there was an intense need for constructing houses for rent to earn profits.

District lacks housing colonies to accommodate outsiders

Mostly the houses given on rent had been vacated by people after building new ones or those who have settled in Islamabad, Peshawar and other cities. However, there is severe shortage of housing units to absorb the flow of people to the city areas from Gadoon Amazai, Punjab and other areas.

“The rush of people from other cities has increased due to Gadoon Amazai Industrial Estate, Tarbela Dam and Ghazi Barotha hydropower project,” said Yasir Hayat, who belongs to Punjab and lives along with his father at Gadoon estate.

Topi city remains under pressure because it shares boundary with Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute, Gadoon estate, Tarbela and Ghazi Barotha dams. Besides, many Afghan refugees also live in Topi city since long and many of them have set up their own businesses.

People of Gadoon Amazai mountainous regions also shift to settled areas in winter because of harsh weather condtions there.

Published in Dawn, December 9th, 2018