Res­i­dents of Sec­tor I-17, H-16 still await com­pen­sa­tions

Pakistan Observer - - TWIN CITIES -

ZUBAIR QURESHI ISLAMABAD—The Islamabad High Court will hear ar­gu­ments by the Cap­i­tal De­vel­op­ment Author­ity (CDA) on May 13 in cases per­tain­ing to the pay­ment of com­pen­sa­tion to the af­fected landown­ers of sec­tors H-16 and I-17. There are a to­tal of 33 cases pend­ing be­fore the IHC sin­gle bench Jus­tice Noorul Haq N Qureshi and the court has sought com­ments in pe­ti­tions as well as al­lowed CDA to sub­mit a de­tailed re­port for pay­ments to be given to the land own­ers of Noon area in some other cases.

The pe­ti­tion­ers have sought di­rec­tions from the court for CDA to pay land com­pen­sa­tion for the sec­tors it an­nounced to ac­quire years ago. In 2009, the CDA had promised prompt pay­ment but so far they are not paid a sin­gle penny.

Some of the pe­ti­tion­ers have ap­proached the court seek­ing its di­rec­tions for en­hance pay­ments, some have pre­ferred to opt land shar­ing for­mula rather cash com­pen­sa­tion while some oth­ers wish to take both, plot as well as cash com­pen­sa­tion, from the CDA. Ac­cord­ing to the land-shar­ing for­mula, which is con­sid­ered a suc­cess­ful model for sec­tor de­vel­op­ment, af­ter ac­quir­ing four kanals of land, the CDA gives one kanal plot to the landowner mak­ing it a win-win for both par­ties. Nev­er­the­less, pay­ment of com­pen­sa­tion to af­fected own­ers of sec­tors H-16 and I-17 has been still pend­ing since 2009.

The pro­posed Sec­tor H-16 con­sists of to­tal 8,104 Kanals and 10 Mar­las while Sec­tor I-17 con­sists of to­tal 7,971 Kanals and 14 Mar­las. Rev­enue Es­tates Noon, Bhadana Kal­lan, Sheikh­pur and Jh­nagi Syedan fall within Sec­tor H-16 while Noon, Kot Ko­lian, Ba­j­nial, Narhala and Lakhu ar­eas fall within Sec­tor I-17.

Award for these sec­tors was an­nounced in 2009 and pro­vi­sion of cash com­pen­sa­tion to some 5,719 af­fected lo­cals was promised. Ini­tially, Rs2.1 bil­lion com­pen­sa­tion was dis­trib­uted among 1,284 af­fected lo­cals, while 4,435 were yet to be com­pen­sated till Jan­uary 2015. Among other rea­sons, the process of pay­ment was de­layed due to tense sit­u­a­tion cre­ated by big land own­ers of the two sec­tors, as they con­sid­ered Rs830,000 per kanal com­pen­sa­tion in­suf­fi­cient.

One of the Muham­mad Shab­bir, coun­sel said that vil­lages – Noon, Bhadana Kalan, Jhangi Syedan, Sheikh­pur and Kot Kol­lian – are sur­rounded by the de­vel­oped sec­tor of I-16, value of its land has in­creased in re­cent years and the preva­lent price is Rs3 mil­lion. “Present com­pen­sa­tion pro­posed to be given to the af­fectees in the award is ridicu­lously low and pre­pos­ter­ous,” he stated in his pe­ti­tion filed in 2010.

Soon af­ter the an­nounce­ment of award in 2009, cash com­pen­sa­tion of over Rs1 bil­lion was given to a sin­gle in­di­vid­ual, who is a prop­erty ty­coon, within a mat­ter of just one day.

Re­fer­ring to the mat­ter, the pe­ti­tioner said that some per­sons suc­cess­fully ‘per­suaded’ the CDA au­thor­i­ties and re­ceived their com­pen­sa­tion im­me­di­ately whereas the present pe­ti­tion­ers and other af­fected peo­ple were dis­crim­i­nately dealt with by the CDA au­thor­i­ties. “They were not given a penny as com­pen­sa­tion of the land,” he said. The pe­ti­tion­ers have prayed the court to di­rect the CDA Chair­man, Deputy Com­mis­sioner and Di­rec­tor Land & Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion to give com­pen­sa­tion of the land with­out any fur­ther de­lay and avoid­ing fur­ther dis­crim­i­nat­ing be­hav­iour.

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