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February 10, 2018

TMAs reluctant to provide data on ‘missing properties’


February 10, 2018


PESAHAWAR: The local governments, particularly its Tehsil and Town Municipal Administrations (TMAs) tier, across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa continued to hide pricey state properties leased out to influential figures on throwaway rates at the cost of billions of losses to the public exchequer.

The state properties surreptitiously leased out to different quarters include plazas, shops, residential facilities, taxi stands, health club, colleges, press clubs, etc. Some of these properties have been given to influential people at negligibly low and static rates and that too for the period of three to four decades. The leases of some of these properties would expire in 2068 without any revision of rates.

The Local Government, Elections and Rural Development Department (LGE&RDD) has already moved against these properties in a bid to regulate the affairs of leases of the state properties.

The sources that also shared relevant documents with this scribe informed that Secretary LGE&RDD Syed Jamaluddin Shah had issued directives to the four Towns in Peshawar and TMAs in the province through Local Council Board (LCB) to provide complete data of these “missing public properties.”

They informed that the data recently provided by TMAs and Towns to the secretary LGE&RDD was not only a confused mixture of figures, but it also suggested that the local government bodies purposely tried to hide some of the pricy state properties leased out for decades on the lowest of rates.

The sources added that the LGE&RDD secretary has also directed the TMAs to come up with accurate details of the leases of state properties along with a comparison of the market rates.

The LGE&RDD department, the sources further said, intended to put these properties on GIS mapping for better management. The TMAs have also been asked to carry out fresh demarcation of the state lands so that public properties grabbed by unauthorized quarters could be retaken.

They added that in accordance with LG Act 2013, the TMAs had the powers for grant of its property rights and local own source revenue through open auction subject to policy guidelines issued by the provincial government through LCB.

However, the long term lease or contracts should be placed before a committee of the Council for framing recommendations for the approval of the government through LCB.

The sources said all the TMAs have to put to open auction their tax contracts after fulfillment of prescribed laid down codal formalities.

However, the prevalent practice by the TMAs to hide these properties has become a nuisance for the provincial authorities, besides incurring huge losses to the public exchequer. The properties are mainly grabbed by powerful mafia with the patronage of some political and influential circles and in some cases in collusion with the TMA officials.

The document available with The News shows that only Abbottabad TMA has provided information about its four properties allotted on lease to different persons. These properties include 1,622 square foot property leased to Razia Begum Daggai Mohallah at Rs.1,730 per annum for 33 years till 2039, 549 square feet leased to Abdul Zahid, Jinnah road, for 33 Years, 1,044 square feet to Major Masood-ur-Rehman, Katchery road for Rs.15,000 per annum for 15 years until 2030, 1,632 square feet to Sardar Fazal-e-Raziq Link road for Rs.30,000 per annum for 33 years until 2041.

In Takht Bhai, the data shows that the lease agreement for 72 shops on five kanal and five marla land has expired on June 30, 2017 and new agreement has been executed with tenants but no details of the new lease have been provided to the provincial government.

In Hangu TMA, eight shops in the Municipal Shopping Plaza have been given on lease to the Utility Store Corporation for three years, but details of rate have not been provided. Other properties of the TMA include flats, shopping plaza, garments shops, EITIMAD Bank, and body building club at Municipal Shopping Plaza.

In Peshawar Town-I, Fun Land Park at Shahi Bagh has been leased for 15 years that will expire in 2023, Marriage Hall at Asiya Park while Marriage Hall in Tehsil Gorgatri has been handed over to Archeology Department.

In Mardan, the TMA properties include: eighteen shops and two halls in the TMA City shopping Centre, 248 shops/clinics, and one hall in Shopping Complex Plaza on Shamsi road, 12 shops and two halls, TMA shops at Gajju Khan Road, Slaughter House, TMA Plaza on the Dang Baba Road.

In Dera Ismail Khan, commercial plaza at Tank Adda, commercial plaza Doda Haqani near Haq Nawaz Park, commercial plaza near Gate Kaneran Wala, four shops at Parova Adda, 15 units and one hall in Doda Haqani commercial plaza, old Utility Store in shopping centre Topan Wala Gate and open plot in Pawanda Bazar auctioned in 2015.

In Shabqadar, the TMA owned a plaza of 36 shops built on Build-Operate- and-Transfer (BOT) basis and 17 shops at Sabzi Mandi. In the Thall TMA, these properties include 13 shops in Main and Landa bazaars, Cafeteria near public park, Gamkol Sharif Adda in Kohat that is open land allotted to Pir Munawar Shah for 25 years until 2028 on just Rs.8,000 per annum.

Bannu is another TMA that owned 12 precious public properties allotted at nominal rates, but the details have not been conveyed to the LCB. These include a plaza outside Lakki Gate allotted to Haji Sadullah, plaza of Ayub Ahmad Jan at Lakki Gate leased to Sarparai Jani, wife of Khan Bahadar Damsaz Ali Shah, cinema and plaza allotted to Feroz Shah, 15 marlas plot of land allotted to Qamar Zaman, animal serai of Zamanullah inside Railway road, Press Club inside Library, animals serai allotted to Ghulam Mah-ud-Din, land allotted to Naseem Afzal Baz, etc. animals serai allotted to Mohammad Sher, etc, Principal Degree College outside Miryan Gate. This property is three kanal and three marlas leased till 2068 and Hockey Stadium outside Paredy gate spread over 34 kanal of land leased till 2033.




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