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ISLAMABAD: The planning wing of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) has identified two more sites for construction of flats for slum dwellers.

A couple of months ago, the CDA had identified seven acres in G-7 and the blueprint of about 700 flats was finalised for construction on the plot.

The slum residents of F-6 100 Quarters and F-7 France Colony would be accommodated in the proposed flats to be built at G-7.

Over 4,500 flats can be constructed in I-9/4 and Alipur Farash, official says

Sources in the CDA said two more sites had been identified now - one in 1-9/4 and the other in Alipur Farash.

The site at I-9 is the place where a plot was earmarked for the establishment of a slaughterhouse. The proposed site was later shifted to I-11.

The sources said the CDA had around 80 kanals at I-11 at the junction of 9th Avenue and I.J. Principal Road where 1,200 to 1,500 flats could be constructed.

The sources said there was also a vacant space in Alipur Farash where at least 3,000 flats could be constructed.

“Town planners are working on these sites,” said an official of the CDA.

Asked if the first plan to construct apartments at G-7 had been cancelled after identification of the two sites, the official said: “Final decision is yet to be taken. Apparently, we will use all these sites to accommodate a maximum number of slum dwellers.”

The sources said CDA Chairman Amer Ali Ahmed was likely to present details of these sites to Prime Minister Imran Khan for a final decision.

“Our plan is to identify and make a plan for at least 5,000 flats in the first phase,” he said.

CDA officials said if the proposed construction of flats for slum dwellers was translated into reality it would be a great service to the poor segment of society who were forced to live in unplanned settlements in miserable conditions.

The prime minister a few months ago had directed the CDA chairman to prepare a plan for “the regeneration and transformation of katchi abadis and construction of high-rise buildings there.”

CDA officials said as a pilot project, the residents of F-6 and F-7 would be provided flats against nominal amounts in the first phase.

Later, the residents of other slums will be provided accommodations in flats.

When contacted, CDA spokesperson Syed Safdar Ali confirmed that two more sites had been identified for construction of flats for the slum dwellers.

“The planning wing is working on I-9/4 and Alipur Farash sites,” he said.

In the past the CDA had made an attempt to shift slum dwellers from the city area to Alipur Farash, a suburb of the capital, where they had been allotted plots. But after selling the plots/homes, the slum dwellers returned to the city area.

The Alipur Farash project was started in early 2000s in order to provide plots to the dwellers of Essa Nagri I-9, Haq Bahu I-11, Muslim Colony and Dhoke Najju of I-10. This time, the government has decided to provide flats to the low-income residents.

Currently, there are around 50 unauthorised and so-called authorised slums in the capital city.

Published in Dawn, June 9th, 2019