Many citizens in Islamabad have been grappling with the distressing issue of missing property files related to their plots held by the Capital Development Authority (CDA). The disappearance of these crucial documents has left affected individuals in a state of uncertainty, compelling them to navigate a bureaucratic labyrinth in order to facilitate property transfers.
The Two Types of CDA Plots
The Capital Development Authority administers two distinct categories of plots within its sectors: plots acquired through auctions directly facilitated by the CDA and plots that have been allotted to affected persons, often subsequently sold in the open market. These “affected persons” are individuals whose land was acquired by the CDA, and in return, they received plots.
Disturbingly, sources have revealed that a multitude of property files, primarily those initially allocated to affected individuals, have vanished from the records maintained by the CDA’s land directorate. It has been suggested that these missing files are either fake or contain irregularities.
Given that these plots have been subsequently sold to other parties, the lack of documentation has caused considerable distress among the new owners. The sources insist that this is a chronic issue plaguing the CDA.
Allegations of Collusion
Some sources have alleged that at times, CDA officials, in collusion with property dealers, are complicit in making these files disappear, often until the appointment of their associates to key positions for approval. Conversely, files are sometimes intentionally eradicated to cover up the allotment of plots based on spurious documentation.
CDA’s Investigative Response on Missing Property Files
In a commendable effort to address this growing concern, the CDA’s management has initiated a probe into fraudulent allotments, enlisting the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to investigate plots allocated from 2017 to 2023. During the course of this investigation, it has come to light that certain “tainted” CDA officials may have tampered with evidence by removing the files from the official records.
Formation of a Seven-Member Committee
Recognizing the gravity of the situation, the CDA’s Deputy Director General took swift action. Following the approval of CDA Chairman Anwarul Haq, a seven-member committee was formed to address the issue of missing property files. This committee includes representatives from the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and FIA, in addition to CDA officials. The CDA’s Director of Security will head the committee and features the Director of Land, as well as representatives from the Planning and Law Wings, the FIA, and the IB.
A letter dated November 6, obtained by Dawn, articulates the urgency of the matter. It states that the Land and Rehabilitation Directorate has received numerous applications from individuals who are unable to transfer their properties due to missing or lost original files. These files cannot be reconstructed as the record of their allotment is also missing.
The letter goes on to emphasize the detrimental impact on the general public, forcing them to endure hardships due to no fault of their own. It is mentioned that the Secretary of the Interior has taken notice of these incidents and desires to resolve the issues to provide relief to the affected applicants.
According to the Terms of Reference (TORs) outlined in the letter, the committee is tasked with investigating the extent of missing or fake files and proposing appropriate measures or actions, whether disciplinary or criminal, against the officials responsible for the irregularities. Moreover, the committee is expected to recommend solutions for the suffering public and propose actions against any private individuals involved in the transfer process.
The formation of this committee is seen as a positive step towards addressing the concerns of the affected citizens and ensuring transparency and accountability within the CDA. The investigation will be closely monitored to ensure that justice is served and that citizens can finally obtain their property rights without undue obstacles.