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ISLAMABAD, Nov 13: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) on Tuesday admitted before the Islamabad High Court that Bahria Town has encroached upon 1,200 kanals of land near the Kurri village.

The land is worth over Rs7 billion.

The revelation was made by a CDA counsel during the hearing of a public interest litigation filed by Barrister Jahangir Khan Jadoon in May this year.

The petition sought removal of encroachments from both residential and commercial areas of the capital city.

On Tuesday, Barrister Jadoon filed another application against encroachments made by Bahria Town on the 1,200 kanals owned by the CDA where the housing society is developing its Bahria Enclave.

The petitioner said the society had sold a large piece of encroached land to different people. He expressed apprehension that in connivance with the CDA officials, it would forge the original land record.

The Bahria Enclave project was launched on July 7, 2011, a day after the CDA inaugurated its Park Enclave in the same area.

The prices of plots at Bahria Town’s housing project were Rs6.2 million per kanal whereas the CDA was selling one kanal at Rs12 million.

There was no direct access to the Bahria Enclave, but CDA director general Ghulam Sarwar Sandhu allegedly provided the society access from the Park Road.

CDA counsel Nazir Jawwad admitted that the land had been encroached upon by Bahria Town. He said the authority had issued them several notices for removal of the encroachments.

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui expressed concern over CDA’s inability to retrieve its land. He said instead of retrieving its land, the civic agency was facilitating the Bahria Town management for developing its ‘enclave’.

“CDA director general Ghulam Sarwar Sandhu had also built roads for the private society and it appears that he is not an officer of CDA but a town planner of Bahria Town,” the judge remarked.

He added that CDA officials were more interested in getting kickbacks and commission and reluctant to performing their own job.

“The encroachments could not be removed until or unless the commission of the mafia is stopped.” He observed that housing societies, including Naval Anchorage and Capital Enclave, had also encroached upon the government land and without obtaining permission built roads on the land.

The CDA counsel informed the court that the authority had removed 59 encroachments from different sectors during the last few weeks.

CDA director enforcement Navidul Haq added that the authority had taken up the matter with Bahria Town. He said serious efforts would be made for retrieving the encroached land.

According to a report of CDA land and rehabilitation directorate dated July 3, 2007, Bahia Town had encroached upon the 1,200 kanals.

When contacted, Qaiser Qadeer Qureshi, a legal adviser to the Bahria Town, expressed ignorance about the matter.

“So far, we have not received any notice from the CDA. I can comment on this matter only after receiving the relevant information,” he added.

The CDA counsel also informed the court that it had removed encroachments from 59 locations in the city. The court directed its assistant registrar Shafiqur Rehman to verify the report and submit his own findings in a week.

The court also directed the CDA to provide details about Moon Star Khalid, in whose name Khalid Malik, the brother of interior minister Rehman Malik, had obtained a licence for running a tuck shop in Shalimar Park, F-7/3, and later converted it into a restaurant.

CDA deputy director municipal administration Hassan Raza Rizvi told the court that Moon Star Khaild was the nickname of the spouse of Khalid Malik and CDA had issued her the licence for running the tuck shop on an incomplete application.

He said Moon Star Khalid did not attach her computerised national identity card (CNIC) along with her application.