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December 2, 2018

Forensic audit completed: 295 housing societies in KP declared illegal

National

December 2, 2018

PESHAWAR: With the completion of forensic audit in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 295 housing societies have been declared illegal.

The Supreme Court had ordered for forensic audit of all housing societies in KP in 2017. The audit report revealed that there were only 36 societies registered as cooperative and 43 as private housing societies.

According to details, a joint investigation team (JIT) was formed in May 2017 on the SC orders, with KP National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Director Mian Waqar as its head. The committee consisted of officials of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE), Peshawar Development Authority (PDA) and other departments and cities. The committee conducted forensic audit of all housing societies in all cities of the province. The report made startling revelations, showing that 295 societies were not registered with any department; they were working without a no-objection certificate (NOC), and thus were declared illegal.

On the public complaints, NAB has launched investigations against 17 societies so far and arrested eight accused persons. Only eight illegal societies deprived people of their Rs1.108 billion (Rs1,108,583,000).

However, on the SC orders, electricity and gas connections to the illegal societies have been disconnected. The report showed that there are 46 illegal societies in Peshawar, Charsadda 79, Mardan 57, Dera Ismael Khan 52, Karak one, Kohat 3, Swat 17, Bannu 13, Lakki Marwat 11, Nowshera 5 in Abbottabad 6 and Taank 5.

The report said the societies did not fulfill legal requirements and sold out plots to citizens. Director FIA Peshawar Mirvais Niaz told this reporter that 36 cooperative and 43 private housing societies did not have any registration documents, while 14 have just got registration process completed.

The forensic audit showed that no housing society had provided facilities to the plot owners and residents in accordance with the law. These societies lack mosques, graveyard area, and greenbelts have been converted into residential plots. The report said 295 societies were working in the KP province illegally and action would be taken against them in the light of the SC order.

The authorities concerned have launched an initial investigation against Gulbahar Model Town after receiving complaints against it. The largest number of complaints, i.e. 460 had been received against Zohain & Company Mardan. The society owners were arrested and a reference was filed against him in an accountability court. People were deprived of Rs41 million by this society owners.

An inquiry is underway against the director and owner of Sheikh Yaseen Town Peshawar, who allegedly looted Rs10 million from common people. Another inquiry is underway against Sheikh Yaseen Town Executive Block Mardan where Rs80 million were taken away from applicants. NAB arrested two accused in this scam.

Other inquiries are being conducted by Provincial Housing Authority against illegal allotment of plots in Jallozai Housing Scheme, Canal View Peshawar, Khushhal Garden Nowshera, and Doctors Colony Nowshera.

The Provincial Housing Authority also conducted investigation against Surizai Housing Scheme illegal allotments, arrested four accused and filed a reference against then in an accountability court. The housing society is accused of depriving people of Rs16.457 million in the name of plot allotments.

NAB has completed an inquiry against Khushhal Garden Nowshera on the complaints of 238 affected people. The Bureau recovered Rs67.23 million from the accused.

An inquiry against Mardan Development Authority has been shifted to the Local Government.

As many as 79 complaints were received against Khyber Motorway Garden, and the society owners were accused of depriving people of Rs140 million.

After receiving 129 complaints, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) started probe against City Associates Mardan, which plundered Rs140 million of the general public. An inquiry into complaints against corruption in Doctors Colony, Mardan, is also in progress. On complaints lodged by residents of Al-Harram Model Town, NAB has started investigations and two persons have been arrested. Investigations against Blue City Housing Scheme are in process in which Rs2.8 million have been looted.

In the KP provincial capital Peshawar, 46 illegal housing schemes are operating. These schemes owners have not completed the legal requirements of Local Government Act 2005 and PDA Act 2007, due to which Peshawar Development Authority (PDA) declared them illegal. Owners of nine schemes do not have land ownership documents; however, they have sold plots. According to the documents, in Peshawar, owners of housing schemes, including Faisal Town, Warsak Road; Madina Residentia, GT Road; Haji Tariq Housing Scheme near Budhni Drain Ring Road; Officers Housing Scheme Phase 2; University Garden Mullah Zai, Warsak Road; Green Cottages, Warsak Road; Madina Colony near Budhni Drain Ring Road near Charsadda Road, New City Homes, GT Road Chamakani; Peshawar Garden Chamakani, GT Road; Green Homes near Grid Station, Dalazak Road; Canal View near Nasser Bagh Road; Al-Maasa Model Town, Warsak Road; Professor Model Town-II Warsak Road; Executive Lodges Sabz Ali Khan Town, Warsak Road; Safia Homes, Warsak Road; Al-Harram Green, GT Road; Peshawar Enclave Takhatabad near Charsadda Road; Covernish Enclave, Warsak Road; City Residentia near Charsadda Road, City Oasis in front of Sarhad University Ring Road; Officers Housing Society, northern by-pass; Al-Harram Model Town near Phase-2 Pull Ring Road; Shamsul Qamar Colony, Pushta Khra Ring Road; Tasneem Garden Dauranpur near northern by-pass, Khyber Clay Ring Road, Galaxy Town near Pushta Khra Chowk Old Qartaba Town near Charsadda Road, Muslim City-2 northern by-pass, Al-Moez Homes-3, Canal Road near Shami Road; Shami Road Gardens, Canal Road Shami Road; Apna Ghar Housing Scheme Gulbahar No 6; Al-Fajar Estate Services, Peshawar; Afridi Town Kohat Road; Hashim Baber Town, Warsak Road; Gulshen-e-Peshawar Housing Scheme, Yaseenabad Dauranpur Road, Peshawar; Raufabad Gate No 1 to 5 Tehkaal Bala Peshawar; Bashir Bagh Aslam Dhairi, Pijki Road and Education Employees Foundation (EEF) Housing Scheme Charsadda Road, sold and purchased plots without getting permission from Peshawar Development Authority (PDA). The owners of these schemes were served notices repeatedly but they did not fulfill legal requirements. Peshawar Development Authority asked them to submit building plans and other relevant land documents for investigations so that the documents could be reviewed as per law. However, many owners have not even replied to the PDA notices due to which PDA declared illegal the 46 housing schemes of Peshawar. Complaints for registration of case against them were also lodged with the police stations concerned time and again. On the other hand, Al-Madina Colony Mullah Kandhai Nasser Bagh, Peshawar; Aziz Colony Main Ring Road near Pijgi Road, Peshawar; Mehmood Khan Housing Scheme behind Khzana Sugar Mills, Haryana Road, Charsadda Road, Peshawar; Gul Residentia Lucky Dhairi Road, Gulbahar No 3, Peshawar; Gulstan Colony Haji Lodges Qila Karyana Road Nagmaan, Peshawar; Arbab Cottage behind Prime Hospital, Warsak Road, Peshawar; Ummul Quraa Town Chamakani GT Road, Peshawar; Arfa Town Mithhra Warsak Road, Peshawar and Mian Abdul Wali Shah Town Dauranpur near Ring Road, Peshawar were declared illegal and barred from carrying on development work.

According to PDA, nine housing societies did not have land ownership documents. They included Madina Residentia, City Oasis, Green Homes, Madina Colony, Galaxy Housing Scheme, New Qartaba, Old Qartaba, City Residentia and Apna Ghar. According to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Local Government Act 2005 for private housing society under Urban and Rural Development Department, it is mandatory that 7 percent of the total housing scheme land must be fixed for parks, 2 percent or more than 2 percent for cemetery, 5 percent for commercial activities, 5 to 10 percent for site offices must be fixed while minimum land for a plot should be 3 marla and maximum 2 kanal. On the premises of a housing scheme, the road width should be not less than 30 feet.

Talking to Daily Jang, Peshawar Development Authority Director General Israrullah Khan confirmed the fact that notices were served on 37 housing societies falling under PDA so that they could fulfil legal requirements. To keep the general public informed, advertisements are also published frequently so that they avoid investing with the housing schemes. He said nine societies were barred from operating so that they register with PDA. The PDA DG said even now unregistered and illegal society would not be given electricity and Sui gas supply. That's why the housing societies have been barred from operation.

He further told that even now no new society is being allowed to operate rather FIRs are being registered against them in the police stations concerned.

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