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ISLAMABAD, Nov 5: Owners of residential plots in Sector I-11 will have to wait some more time to settle there as people claiming ownership of the land stopped a workforce of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) on Monday from leveling the land for them.

Sources in the CDA said as soon as their enforcement team reached there, accompanied by police officials, to start the work, people of Sarian and other villages gathered at the site, demanding that the original owners of the land be paid “compensation” before the CDA start any development work there.

The enforcement team held negotiations with the affected people and before leaving the site asked them to come to the CDA office along with documents to resolve the issue.

It may be noted that the sector could not be developed for the last about three decades.

In the early 1980s, refugees from Afghanistan settled in the area and they resisted the CDA moves to develop the sector for about two decades.

An official of the CDA requesting not to be quoted said former chairmen Tariq Mehmood Khan and Imtiaz Inayat Elahi had announced package deals for the affected people but the civic agency could not implement them.

Chaudhry Mohammad Anwar, a resident of the area, while talking to Dawn said the CDA was trying to take possession of over 4,000 kanals without paying compensation.

“We will not hand over our land without getting reasonable compensation. Besides, there is a graveyard of our forefathers, it should also be saved.”

He said different awards were announced for the affected people in 1962, 1968 and 1975 and Rs350 to Rs600 per kanal was fixed as compensation.

A large number of residents refused the compensation. Now that amount has no value so a new award should be announced, he added.

Another resident, Jehangir Khan, said the residents of Noon Sharif village in the I-17 sector had been given plots as compensation “but land owners in the I-11 sector have been ignored.”

Haji Mansab Khan, another resident of the area, said they had already submitted their cases to the CDA but the latter was not willing to resolve the issue through negotiations.

“We will not vacate our forefathers’ land without getting reasonable compensations. The CDA earns billions of rupees by selling plots but is not ready to give us proper compensation,” he said.

Ijaz Ahmed said he had purchased a plot in the sector in 1996 and still awaits development of the sector.

CDA’s assistant director (enforcement) Badar Maqsood, who headed the team to the site on Monday, told Dawn: “We have been instructed by the management to get the land vacated to launch the development work.

“The residents are claiming that the land does not belong to the CDA. I will discuss the matter with my seniors, but the development work has to be started.”