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CDA has yet to decide on transfer of land for Naya Pakistan Housing Programme

Updated July 04, 2019

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Matter to be taken up at CDA board meeting tomorrow. — DawnNewsTV/File
Matter to be taken up at CDA board meeting tomorrow. — DawnNewsTV/File

ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) will make a decision on transferring land to the Naya Pakistan Housing Programme, which has been inaugurated by Prime Minister Imran Khan, at its board meeting soon.

The National Assembly Standing Committee on Housing and Works was told on Wednesday that the cabinet on April 9 approved the mutation of 508 kanals of CDA land next to Askari VI, Mauza Chaklala, in the Rawalpindi district for the Federal Government Employees Housing Foundation (FGEHF) on the acquisition rate of utilisation under the Naya Pakistan Housing Programme.

According to the plan, 25,000 homes will be built under the programme on two sites in Rawalpindi and Islamabad. In Chaklala, 70pc of the houses will be for BPS-1 to 16 employees and 30pc for BPS-17 to 21.

Matter to be taken up at CDA board meeting tomorrow

However, the CDA has not cleared the land yet.

Housing and Works Secretary Dr Imran Zeb Khan said: “At the recent cabinet meeting, the CDA levied the rate of developed land for government accommodation at Rs11,000 per square yard, instead of the acquisition land as directed by cabinet.”

He said the housing foundation director has met with CDA officials to expedite the matter, but to no avail, adding that the CDA chairman assured that the matter will be taken up at a board meeting scheduled for tomorrow (Friday).

“For Islamabad, the G-13 site was selected for the construction of 6,000 units. The cabinet approved the change in land use in the Mauve Area of sectors G-13 and G-14 for use as a residential scheme only, in accordance with the cabinet decision,” he added.

The FGEHF was advised to place a detailed proposal with regard to the change of land use for the entire Mauve Area for G-13 and G-14 through the housing and works ministry for consideration by the CDA board, Dr Khan said.

He said that for height zoning, the CDA has informed that the floor area ratio presently allowed is up to ground and nine storeys in the Mauve Area.

The CDA wants the cabinet to give categorical directives for the construction of high-rise buildings in the aforementioned area, which the CDA board will then endorse.

He said the price of apartments has to be kept within the minimum possible limits, and that could only be achieved if some of the floors are constructed for commercial purposes and auctioned to cross subsidise.

Committee members also raised questions about the housing programme’s financial model, with Chaudhry Abid Raza asking how it would be possible for low-income employees to make the down payment for a home and then also pay monthly instalments of Rs10,0oo to Rs12,000 when their salaries are just Rs17,000 or so.

He said a financial model needs to be established to make the scheme successful, otherwise all the homes will be sold to property dealers and they will get nothing.

Committee chair Mohammad Najeed Haroon asked the ministry for a report on the programme’s progress to be submitted at the next meeting.

He said the construction of houses should meet international standards, with two rooms, a washroom and a kitchen.

“One room houses do not fall in the category of a house,” he said.

He added that the programme was a good initiative and work should start as soon as possible. A land bank should be established for the construction of homes, he said.

The committee was told that the government has made the Pakistan Housing Foundation, and all the work will be carried out under this foundation.

Published in Dawn, July 4th, 2019