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CDA conducts operation against illegal Afghan slum
08-18-2015, 06:33 PM
Post: #1
CDA conducts operation against illegal Afghan slum
ISLAMABAD: The affectees of village Sari took a sigh of relief when the Capital Development Authority (CDA), in collaboration with Rangers and Islamabad Police, conducted an operation against the illegal slum named ‘Afghan Basti’ at Sector I-11.

During the operation, the illegal structures constructed on the land of CDA were demolished by the authority’s enforcement directorate.

Sector I-11 was allotted to the affectees of village Sari of Islamabad but they could not get possession due to these illegal encroachments, which settled in the area after 1980 when Afghan refugees poured into Pakistan. Recently, CDA has initiated a grand operation against all illegal slums and other encroachments in different areas of the federal capital as these ‘Katchi Abadies’ had become a hub of crimes, making the security of the city vulnerable.

CDA Chairman Maroof Afzal, in a statement, said all out efforts would be made to ensure early handing over of possession of the plots to the original allottees that mainly comprise of low-income people who were allotted the plots in 1985.

The chairman appreciated the efforts of the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration and police for reinforcing the efforts of CDA Enforcement Directorate to carry out this major operation.

He also directed the concerned officials on strict vigilance of other slum areas so that the people being evacuated from the illegal slum of sector I-11 may not shift there.

Meanwhile, the Machinery Pool Organization (MPO) has been directed to remove the debris from the site and level the area, paving way for development while the fencing of the evacuated land is also in progress to discourage the re-emergence of encroachments.

‘Katchi Abadis’ exist in Islamabad for the last three to four decades, sheltering 13,521 families comprising of 84,591 individuals, majority of them are labourers, sanitary workers, domestic workers or lower-staff government servants, but the presence of some anti-state elements in them can also not be denied.

According to CDA’s report, there are total 32 Katchi Abadies, of which, 10 are approved from the authority while other 22 have no legal position.

“I had been living here for almost a decade. I had paid CDA men to raise my house. I spent all of my savings on the construction and now I was living on daily-wage earning,” said Taskeen, a resident of Afghan Basti.

She said that she had no other shelter to live in, and did not have any idea where would she live after the demolishing of her house.

“I have six children to feed and my daily income is just Rs 500. I was living in a single room. How would I manage to arrange shelter for my kids on rent,” said Afzal, a 40-year old man.

Factually, Taskeen and Afzal were not alone to tell the same plight rather there were hundreds of other people who were encouraged to build illegal shelters and then razed, leaving none to be accounted for.

The operation against the illegal slums is being carried out with the approval of the Ministry of Interior while the Islamabad High Court (IHC) has also directed for the same.

CDA has announced that this operation would be conducted on daily basis to ensure removal of the encroachments from other areas of the capital as well.

Administration and Estate member Amer Ali Ahmed has directed the enforcement directorate to vigorously carry out the operation across the board to ensure vacation of the CDA land from the encroachers besides removing all the illegal slums.

He also directed to ensure an effective monitoring mechanism to discourage re-emergence of encroachments in these areas and make this campaign a success.

Though the operation was necessary to make Islamabad a safe city as criminal elements do reside in these slums, but there was also a need to give alternate housing arrangements to the real poor people residing in them so that they do not become homeless.
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