- Rs 27 billion of public money at stake
- Malik Riaz starts getting exposed
- Bahria Karachi project may never kick off
By Sarmad Ali
(Pak Destiny) After the Supreme Court’s decision to restrain Bahria Town from undertaking any development activity on the state land allotted measuring over 9,000 to it by the Malir Development Authority (MDA) illegally, the property price of Bahria Town Karachi dropped to more than 50 percent. Besides, a sum of Rs27 billion people invested there is at stake now.
“Who will recover my money from Malik Riaz, owner of Bahria Town, after this development,” Malik Qayyum said who invested over Rs150 million in Karachi Bahria Town. “The estate agents offer me Rs50m against the plots which I had bought against Rs150 million over a year ago,” he said, adding Malik Riaz collected Rs27b from in a few days after launching Bahria Karachi. Now Riaz spending millions on advertisements to hoodwink the people about the Karachi Baharia project.
The SC has given two months to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to complete its investigation into Bahria Town scam and submit report to it. The land in question involves the under-construction Bahria Town project located about nine kilometres from Toll Plaza on the Karachi-Hyderabad super highway. The NAB prosecutor general filed an interim report in a sealed envelope along with a copy of the survey report prepared by the Directorate of Survey of Pakistan, Ministry of Defence, which was taken on record.
According to the survey report, the total land consolidated by the MDA and handed over to Bahria Town measured 9,385.185 acres. In the survey report, the portion marked in pink as “A” showed that Bahira Town had developed 386.276 acres of land which was not yet consolidated by the MDA.
The survey report also showed some other portions of state land that had been developed by Bahria Town despite the fact that they had not been consolidated by the MDA. The total land developed/under development but not consolidated by the MDA came to make 2,771.79 acres.
The bench inquired of the chief secretary, senior member, Board of Revenue, and the advocate general of Sindh to satisfy it under which law the MDA was competent to exchange private land with the land falling in the area reserved as corridor. The three officials, however, could not offer any explanation and submitted that no such powers were available with the MDA to allot or exchange the private land with the state land.
The MDA was also restrained from consolidating any further portion of the private land for the Bahria Town or any other private enterprise under the garb of exchange of land in exercise of their powers conferred on them under the MDA Act or the rules framed thereunder. The SC also restricted the Board of Revenue from dealing with the land of the MDA or any other Authority which was the subject matter of these proceedings in any manner whatsoever.
Meanwhile, chief of Bahria Town Malik Riaz Hussain claimed that the Supreme Court had not imposed any restriction on development of his projects. In his tweets, he called it “misreporting of facts” by the media and vowed to continue the development of the mighty project. “Misreporting of facts regarding #BahriaTown #Karachi absolutely malicious. SC didn’t put any restrictions on develop work by Bahria Town,” he said.
Let’s see how the people’s money of billions of rupees is saved. Pak Destiny