ISLAMABAD: In a major breakthrough, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) has vacated all stay orders on the stalled Kuri Model Village project, giving the go-ahead to the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to start the development work.

“The IHC has vacated all stay orders regarding the Kuri Model Village,” said CDA spokesperson Syed Safdar Shah. He said that in 2008 the CDA had made a package deal with the villagers of Kuri under which the civic agency in 2010 announced the built-up property (BuP) award. However, some people challenged the BuP in 2013 in the IHC.

The spokesperson said that in 2016 the IHC while issuing a stay order had also stopped the CDA from any kind of allotment.

Similarly, he said, some other cases were also filed in IHC. However, on Wednesday, a division bench of IHC vacated all the stay orders and directed the CDA to start the development work within a month.

The CDA had acquired land for the sectors decades ago but after announcing the award no serious step was taken for development of the model village which will comprises over 32,00 acres in Kuri, Majohan and Rehala revenue estates. The area falls in Zone IV.

CDA officials said the area could provide thousands of housing units as it was equal to around four residential sectors of Islamabad. One residential sector typically consists of 750 acres.

The officials said after paying compensation and built-up property claims, the civic agency will have around 2,000 acres worth billions of rupees.

But the civic agency never made any serious effort to settle issues with the locals to get possession of their land to develop the model village. The officials said an initial survey had showed 1,100 occupants on the land, but in 2011 the number rose to 7,000.

At that time, the CDA officials in connivance with the locals allegedly added many bogus cases to the list of land ownership claims. Later, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) probed the matter and cleared 34,22 ownership cases.

Since then, the civic agency has made no serious move to resolve issues with the owners to get possession of the land to start work on the project.

The CDA had acquired the land in 1968 while built-up-property award was announced in 1971. But the civic agency did not take possession of the land by removing objections of the locals.

In 2009, the civic agency again announced a revised built-up property award, but due to allegations of bogus claims the issue lingered.

“The IHC has given the go-ahead to CDA and now there is no stay orders, this is a big development. The Kuri village will provide thousands of plots. It is the responsibility of CDA to resolve issues of affectees amicably to avoid any further controversy. There is also a need to appoint upright officials in the land directorate to handle Kuri model compensation cases with due care to avoid further litigation,” said an official of CDA.

Published in Dawn, September 22nd, 2023

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