Dawn’s ‘crusade’ against illegal land grabbing of Malik Riaz

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malik riaz,dawn news

By Sarmad Ali

(Pak Destiny) Dawn media group has started a ‘crusade’ against property tycoon Malik Riaz for his alleged wrongdoings in acquiring or occupying the state land for his Bahria ventures.

After bringing forth the biggest land scandal in Karachi, Dawn reported  land worth Rs2.3 billion in Kurri village, which has been ‘encroached’ by Bahria Enclave of Malik Riaz.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has asked the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to demarcate and retrieve this land.

No other newspaper be it market leader Jang/Geo group or others businessmen owned publication and broadcast of Sultan Lakhani of Express group, Amir Mahmood’s Dunya media group or others dared to report a single line of the PAC’s findings in this regard.

Malik Riaz’s Bahria group has alleged that Dawn media group had demanded advertisement from it and on refusal it started campaign against it.

But still no action has been initiated by the Sindh government and CDA against the Malik Riaz’s wrongdoings alleged in the reports.

Dawn Reports

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has asked the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to demarcate and retrieve land worth Rs2.3 billion in Kurri village, which has been ‘encroached’ by Bahria Enclave.

land worth Rs2.3 billion in Kurri village, which has been ‘encroached’ by Bahria Enclave.

An audit report on the CDA account for the year 2013-14 pointed out that Bahria Enclave had encroached on the 1,542 kanal state land.

The auditors added that the civic agency on November 7, 2012, issued a final notice to Bahria Enclave, asking it to vacate the land or face the consequence but later turned a blind eye to the encroachment.

Maqbool Gondal, the director general audit, told the PAC meeting that under section 49-C (1&2) of the CDA Ordinance 1960, the deputy commissioner CDA could retrieve the encroached land as the section also empowered him to demolish properties built on any encroached land.

He said the tehsildar CDA in November 2012 had issued a final notice to Bahria Town asking it to vacate the land within seven days but the authority could not retrieve the land even after three-and-a-half years.

The report claimed that Bahria Enclave had also constructed a road on the encroached land.

The committee directed the CDA to demarcate the land and then retrieve it from the private housing scheme and submit a report.

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Plot to IPS

The CDA informed the PAC meeting that a plot had been allotted to the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) of former Jamaat-i-Islami leader Professor Khursheed Ahmed at the rate of Re1 annual rent.

The plot (No 19 at F-7 Markaz) was allotted to the JI leader in 1981 for the construction of a building for the institute.

Later, as a special case, the CDA board allowed the IPS to construct a shopping mall on the ground floor.

In January 2008, the board decided that the commercialisation of the building would be subject to the demolition and recreation of the building and after payment of the commercialisation charges.

The audit report said the CDA did not charge the commercialisation fee from the allottee who in August 2012 transferred the plot to a private party, resulting in a Rs462 million loss to the national exchequer.

The CDA informed the PAC that a private company constructed 122 flats on the land and then sold it to different people. The authority informed the PAC that the IPS transferred the land to the private party on its own and without bringing the matter into the notice of the civic agency.

According to the CDA, the decision to comemrcialise the plot was illegal and the authority had issued a charge-sheet to the officials concerned.

The CDA official told the committee that the plot was transferred to the private construction company in accordance with a routine procedure through the one-window operation.

The PAC chairman, Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah, expressed annoyance over the matter and said how a plot meant for the institute could be sold for the construction of flats. He directed the CDA to submit a report within a fortnight.

Safa Gold Mall

As per the audit report, due to the non-receipt of the capital value tax, delayed surcharges and late payment from the owner of Safa Gold Mall, the national exchequer faced a loss of Rs943 million.

The CDA on December 31, 2009, auctioned a plot in F-7 Markaz at the rate of Rs321,000 per square yard. The total cost of the plot was Rs1.2 billion. But the allottee did not deposit the premium of the plot, capital value tax, advance income tax and delayed charges.

The PAC chairman referred the matter to a committee constituted to examine the CDA audit objections which would take up the matter at its forthcoming meeting next month. – Pak Destiny

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