ISLAMABAD, March 26: The cash-strapped Capital Development Authority (CDA) is eyeing around Rs40 billion from the auction of 40 commercial plots in the newly-planned Islamabad Saddar Market in sector I-12.
The importance of I-12 dawned upon the CDA bosses when a luxury apartment plot in the sector was offered Rs500 million during an auction of plots on Tuesday.
The two-day auction was initiated for commercial plots in Blue Area, sectors D-12, I-12 and E-12.
“We have cancelled the bid of Rs500 million for the single luxury apartment plot measuring 1,066 square yards in sector I-12 because we feel that this sector can help the authority in bailing itself out of the financial troubles,” said a planning wing official.
Looking at the response to the single plot, the civic agency has decided to plan a special auction of the sector’s commercial centre, he added.
“To generate maximum revenue from the sector, we will announce the commercial auction within a few weeks,” the official maintained.
According to the estate wing official, I-12 Saddar Market is located hardly at 10 minutes’ drive from Saddar Rawalpindi along I. J. Principal Road.
“This new market will be located on the border of Islamabad and Rawalpindi and will become a hub of business,” observed the official.
A finance wing official said on the second day of the auction, the investors were not fully aware of the importance of the commercial land in I-12. Instead, they (investors) were more interested in the main property - Blue Area, sector D-12 and E-12 plots.
Raja Inam, an investor, while talking to Dawn said: “We had no idea about the I-12 sector, but since the plot put on auction touched such a high price of Rs500 million, we realised that I-12 land is a goldmine for investors. “We will wait for the special auction of the sector,” he added.
Another property investor, who was also present at the auction, said they were interested in the I-12 plots because the commercial centre was located close to Rawalpindi Saddar.
“Besides, the land is not in any adverse possession and we are hopeful of starting speedy construction at the site once we purchase a commercial plot,” added the property investor.
It may be noted that it was for the first time in two decades that the authority auctioned commercial plots in sector E-12.
“We have started the commercial sale of plots in E-12 in line with the directives of the Supreme Court which had directed us to complete the stuck-up residential project,” said an official of the administration wing.
It is pertinent to mention that the civic agency has failed to fulfil a promise made before the Supreme Court for early acquisition of sector E-12 from its current owners.
The E-12 sector was launched in 1970s to provide around 5,000 housing units to the citizens. The sale of plots was announced in 1984 but the development work could not be initiated in the area.
In January 2010, a retired civil servant, Nayyar Manzoor, filed an application with Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry against the stuck-up residential project.
Meanwhile, in its press release the authority said CDA chairman Syed Tahir Shahbaz had lauded the successful bidding of residential and commercial plots in the developed sectors which would further promote the economic and development activities in the city.
The authority, on the second day, presented seven commercial plots for bidding, including three in Blue Area, one in Markaz D-12, two in Markaz E-12 and one plot in Markaz I-12. The Blue Area plot received the highest bid of Rs483,000 per square yard.
The commercial plots offered for auction would fetch around Rs.2.4 billion.
The CDA is likely to get around Rs3.24 millions from the auction of both the residential and commercial plots.
It is pertinent to mention that on the first day of auction, the CDA offered 38 residential plots of different sizes in Sector G-10, G-11 and D-12. The civic agency got Rs776.306 million from the auction of the residential plots on the first day. The bids received during the auction would be presented before the CDA board which is the final authority to accept or reject the offers.