ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday instructed the provinces to complete with help of the Survey of Pakistan department verification of mapping data within two months to get state land rid of illegal occupation.
Provinces were also urged to complete the legislative process against encroachments on public land at the earliest.
Prime Minister Khan issued the instructions while presiding over a meeting of the National Coordinating Committee for Housing, Construction and Development. He ordered an effective follow-up of pending cases against encroachments by provincial governments and the Islamabad Capital Territory and called for carrying out plantation on the land rid of encroachments.
The Surveyor General of Pakistan gave a detailed briefing on cadastral mapping (maps showing ownership of land) in the country.
The meeting was informed that mapping work on 88 per cent of government lands had been completed, which had revealed that thousands of acres worth trillions had been encroached upon. It was also told that cadastral mapping would help digitalise the ownership of government lands.
Most of the encroachments have been made on forest lands, in addition to those of Wapda, the National Highway Authority, the Civil Aviation Authority and Pakistan Railways.
The meeting was told that in the next phase of the project, the process of digitalisation of private lands would be completed with the help of provincial governments.
Prime Minister Khan also visited the site of over 4,000 under-construction housing units being built under the Naya Pakistan Housing Project.
During the visit, he said it was for the first time that people who could not afford their own houses could now own them. “No government in the past cared for the low-income segments of society, who had no shelter,” he said during his visit to Farash Town, in the suburbs of Islamabad.
A total of 4,400 apartments are being constructed there in collaboration with the Capital Development Authority, Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority (NPHDA) and Frontier Works Organisation. Mr Khan had performed the ground-breaking of the project in April this year.
The 4,400 apartments are being constructed on 70 kanals of land and out of them 2,000 units have been reserved for low-income groups registered under the Naya Pakistan Housing, 400 for slum dwellers and 2,000 for middle-income and salaried people. The project will cost Rs15.3 billion.
In his address on the occasion, the prime minister said his government, besides building the housing units, was also providing a subsidy of Rs300,000 for each house and providing loans at a very small markup. “A sum of Rs30bn has been allocated for this purpose,” he added.
Mr Khan said that banks had applications amounting to around Rs226bn under processing, while those working out to a total of Rs90bn had already been approved.
Currently 100,000 houses were under construction, he said, adding that it took almost two years to put in place a structure that could take up the difficult task.
However, the NPHDA was fully functional now to plan and execute projects involving low-cost housing.
Chairing a separate meeting, Prime Minister Khan said the objective behind establishing the Rehmatul-lil-Alameen (PBUH) Authority was to eliminate moral evils and train children and youths to promote the teachings of Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).
The meeting discussed the methodology for consultation with ulema about the authority’s proposed measures at the international level.
Published in Dawn, November 20th, 2021