An open letter to the Chairman of the Capital Development Authority, Islamabad

Published: March 21, 2014
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There has been faster development in the parallel sectors of E-11 and D-12 as compared to E-12, which is still barren.

Dear Sir,

I would like to share with you my feeling of owning a home in Islamabad and how it developed as a matter of inheritor.

My father died in an accident at the age of 80, that too on one of Islamabad’s roads. Taking a trip down memory lane, I can still recall the day he received the allotment papers of a plot under the ‘Federal Government Employees Housing Scheme’ (FGEHS). The flashbacks of his expressions and excitement-filled voice portrayed security, peace of mind and hope of building a home of our own, that too with the halal income that he worked hard for after investing countless hours in the government office.

Sir, I was a fifth grader then, a child who saw her father drawing and planning the map of a house with sheer excitement; the mere sight was so fascinating, that I even decided to take part in the planning and decided to paint my room pink.

Yes, I remember!

How naive children are?

I am sure you would agree that, logically, the paint of that room would have faded by now and would have needed to be re-painted multiple times over a period of 30 years. But, amazingly enough, that never happened.

Now let me enlighten you with the reason, Sir. With 30 years to its allotment, sector E-12 stands deserted and not a single stone is uprooted for the development of this piece of land. While we have seen faster development in the parallel sectors of E-11 and D-12 comparatively, I could not understand as why the concerned department of Capital Development Authority (CDA) had so much empathy and mercy with the allottees of the sectors other than E-12?

I tried to look for all the logical reasons; maybe it’s possessed by a resident jinn (ghost) or unholy spirit or maybe the sacrifices of some allottees is required for purifying this piece of land, which otherwise remains beyond the discretion of CDA to take a sensible amount of time in paving the development of this sector.

Sir, if we consider the people who were allotted under the FGEHS, with 60 to 65 years as an average life expectancy in Pakistan, I can say that 70% of the original allottees are dead by now, 30% of the people have managed to earn peanuts for their plots and have given up in the hands of the real estate agents, who are another cause of nuisance. Having experienced it myself, the threatening and haunting calls from these brokers were the cherry on top.

“Sell or you will be charged with unbearable amount of penalty by authorities”

“You need to sell to us, since this is better for you!”

Luckily, we weren’t enchanted by the fake charms and claims of these brokers, and didn’t sell our plot, mostly because of what it meant to my father and how he wanted to build his dream home on this piece of land.

Sir, I also tried to search for the shortcomings. There is a possibility that it has something to do with the allottees of E-12 sector, since unlike the allottees of sectors D-12 and E-11, our sector did not have secretaries and their nephews who were given preference and better service. It took me a while to understand the differences in their social status. Poor souls!

I wish some secretaries were also allotted plots in our sector so we could have also witnessed fast development in our sector. Better yet, I wish Malik Riaz would take this land from CDA, so I could write him a letter of gratitude instead.

As I am writing this letter, my mother is approaching her 80’s and is currently struggling with diabetes and partial blindness .The déjà vu of not being able to build this dream home haunts me every night as I feel her dream of having her own home might die with her. In that case, I have a better plan. Let’s convert sector E-12 into a sanctuary, dedicated to the allotted and their families. At least we can secure them death beds as I’m sure we’re also running out of space for sanctuaries in Islamabad. I really do understand the level of complexity city planners have to face now.

Sir, building a home on the E-12 plot has now become my life’s mission, which I intend to complete while my mother is still with me. I do, however, leave the decision to you and hope for a miracle.

Nosheen Khawar

Nosheen Khawar

A project management specialist ,graduate of Quaid-e-Azam University with experience in governance, specifically in the Rule of Law Programme by the UNDP. She tweets as @nosheenkhawar (twitter.com/nosheenkhawar)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • khan

    i completely agree with the writer due to negligence and sheer incompetence of CDA people have no option but to buy houses in faraway places like bahria town E12 is not being developed even after taking development charges many a times from the allotees all the money has been eaten up by the corrupt officials we have a personal bad experience with PHA my brother bought a flat of 700 sq feet in PHA built apartments in G 11 they were supposed to hand it over to us in 2011 but even after paying all dues this is 2014 and still they are not giving us possession not only that they are demanding 800000 rs from us due to the delay in construction which is completely their fault due to this usurpation people are terribly afraid to put their money with CDA and PHARecommend

  • Madani

    We are not living in US, Europe, China or even india. Please have a contingency plan, better move out. Otherwise someday you yourself might hit 80 and your children might be burdened to take the fight further. Some things never change, do they?Recommend

  • Iftikhar Ali

    always have a number of plans on your table in case one does not work, work on second, and so on . It reminds me of a joke. Once upon time there was a couple , they had dozen of children, some one asked them why didn’t you follow the slogan of Ministry of population control “Bachay do hi aachay”
    They replied innocently, “yes we followed, in mein say do tu aachay niklaein gay”

    Keep it upRecommend

  • Needroos

    What a shame. Writing here about plots that CDA hasnt provided on land that it has paid compensation for. And then you want Malik Riaz to step in who has made his fortunes land grabbing his way, forcing villagers off their lands, bribing state apparatus, co-opting the civil and military elite. And then you are questioning the corruption of CDA?Recommend

  • Erfan Malik

    Ask not what your country can do for you but ask what you can do for your country!!!Recommend

  • Jirjees Ahmed

    This is not the only case.I have another bad experience of booking a plot in Jeddah town housing scheme about 20 years back.I doubt if I can get the possession of my plot in my life as I am retired now.Recommend

  • Saima

    Empty rhetorics like these will not impress madame! Would you mind helping out?Recommend

  • nosheen khawar

    Very well said Sir, though the purpose is only to point out the fact that a reasonable amount of time should be planned by the authorities for development of piece of land. 25 years, 30 years ,simply sounds ill planned action.Recommend

  • nosheen khawar

    Thanks Saima, But would you enlighten me with the possible suggestions , what do u think what is the way of helping out ? Please shareRecommend

  • nosheen khawar

    I believe every Pakistani loves his country and each one of us is imparting the best one can, however ,I am sure in this particlaur case you would agree I am helping out the affecttees again my country fellows. Please do suggest apart from moving out and working in abroad ,what one can really do . I would appreciate your kind thoughts on that.Recommend

  • nosheen khawar

    :) Well don’t worry it’s not the case of all eggs in one basket either. Point well taken!!Recommend

  • nosheen khawar

    The point is not to weigh who is more corrupt and who is not! Neither a statement of corruption is made here. The context is totally different.It’s about who had the authority to affect and deliver the better and faster services to it’s general public!!!Recommend

  • Muhammad Faheem

    How true. No sheen Khawar has truly reflected the nightmare being faced by the allottes of Sector E12. Federal Government Employees Housing Foundation, regrettably, continues to fail in ensuring handing over possession of the residential plots to the buyers from whom they received full payment. There is such a thing as quid pro quo in law. After having received payment from the buyers, Foundation should have ensured the possession under required quid pro quo.
    Both FG employees Housing Foundation and Capital Development Authority are public sector organisations. They shd have set a better example for the private sector real estate developers.But alas.
    It is suggested that Sector E12 be converted into a national cemetery for failure to develop it in t
    Here decades.
    FaheemRecommend

  • Sarcasm

    One of the ways to help would be to set up a charity organisation – Pakistan Poor People’s Bribe Fund [PPP(BF)]. Patriotic citizens can contribute to this fund. This fund will cater to the needs of poor people who do not have enough money/influence to get the government officials to act. In cases as aforementioned, PPP(BF) will bribe the concerned official on behalf of the applicant. This way it will be a win win situation for all – govt. employees happy!, author gets her plot! and of course countless people can make a difference to the lives of our poor. :D (Please Note : pun unintended :P)Recommend

  • Asif

    One option for you is to raise this issue with Wafaqi-Mohtasib, or give an add on a news paper asking Mr. Nawaz Sharif to take action on this…

    You can also submit a petition in IHC or write a letter to CJ for this massive ignorance on part of CDA.

    On a positive note, CDA has already started looking into this sector on urgent basis.

    See the recent board meeting minutes: http://www.cda.gov.pk/documents/minutes/3bm2014.pdfRecommend

  • Asif

    I disagree brother… If we start going on contigency plans, nobody would strive to do the right thing… We need to raise voices at appropriate circles otherwise everybody will run away from problems..Recommend

  • Needroos

    And what off the “general public” on whose land you want CDA to develop the infrastructure for your plot? Should they rot away or CDA acting to make good on promises to you is good enough?Recommend

  • nada

    Sis, we moved to ISB in 1999 but I have not been in the F-sector for 3-4 years. What I always bear in mind is that ISB is quite underdeveloped or “still under development”, which is remarkable as the population is exploding. Living in Islamabad is not more urbanised than the life in Oslo with <1m & ISB with 1,5m inhabitants. I think ICT & DHA has a stone hand of control over the emerging sectors. I agree that it's totally unacceptable to slow down so attractive sectors!Recommend

  • faizan

    Dear nousheen ,
    I’d rather say cda is the same for everyone. D12 has been alloted to secretaries and also justices are residing there but still no signs of construction. Recommend

  • faizan

    In fact for the past few months cda started dumping whole of Islamabad’s garbage right under the margalla hills. Besides this garbage dumping thing i have never seen cda this active with anything. Trust me its better to sell off the plot and move to some private but yet far most secured and decent living rather than to keep suffering. Cda is totally out of finances due to the corrupt bureaucracy . it is even far more corrupt than the police department. D-12 sector got approved in 1986 but you see even after good 28 years they have not been able to provide severage , gas , drainage , street lights and proper roads. This is beyond imagination that estate provide you with nothing. In pakistan these basic neccasaties are like the most luxurious things and one is considered very powerful or lucky if he is provided with these basic things. Our only bad luck is we were born in pakistan which is governed by our feudal lords. Recommend

  • Guest

    Islamabad, being a Capital City is so under developed its not even funny. Ever take trips to the motorway? The road from G9 to the Toll Plaza is in shambles since eternity. Debris all over the damn place I feel like I am travelling in some god-forsaken city in Balochistan.

    The Government is a bunch of no-good thieves lining up their own pockets; giving contracts to their taya’s and mama’s. No well maintained green-belts, no clean-up of road debris after construction. This whole country is sadistic. LOL at Aga Shahi Avenue being paved with concrete. I feel like I am in a Yacht travelling on these roads.

    On the contrary, I feel like I am in Europe whenever I am in Lahore, considering the amount of work going on there nowadays (though the inner city is as usual pretty messed up, Lahore is actually the most beautiful and well kept (clean) city in Pakistan when comparing infrastructure all over the country).Recommend

  • kulwant singh

    Really strange is not it ,I think you are entitled to compensation for delayed possession and they are instead demanding it from you.approach the consumer court if they exist in Pakistan.Recommend

  • nosheen khawar

    :) .I must say it’s the most creative solution :PRecommend

  • nosheen khawar

    Indeed that’s the first step.Recommend

  • nosheen khawar

    Thanks for sharing! Sure advertisement in newspaper is a good idea!Recommend

  • Shahid

    The best thing to do is to unite all the allottees at one plateform. I would suggest that they should form an association, bring all the interested people together on one plateform. They should then hold regular meetings once a month and form strategy to influence the government to take some serious action. This could involve protesting in front of Parliament House. It should not solve the problem in a short span of time, it would take months of collective effort to move the ball rolling.Recommend

  • nosheen khawar
  • nosheen khawar

    E-12 Affecttees please join in the following link , let’s not leave the effort in convincing and moving CDA for taking the much demanded action. Please join Facebook on E-12 Islamabad Affectees Free our landRecommend

  • WaQaR

    Well, we need to voice these kind of inefficiencies of Govt sector on all levels and forums,,, we need to gather a nation wide movement against corruption…

    besides, i learned that there is PTI section in islamabad under asad umer to resolve such govt related issues,,, you may approach with your case and am confident that this case be taken by them to help / assist irrespective of anything else but just being a Pakistani.Recommend

  • adeel

    I am also effected and going daily to CDA. I am happy that you have tried and it is very good. According to me and all other persons who have plots in e-12, should use their relations. if anybody has relations in electronic media, print media. they should use their links for all. I have seen some people who had strong relations and CDA gave them best options at E-12 and then they did not resist. We should also try to convey our problems about e-12 to chief minister, Punjab and also Prime minister of Pakistan that this sector still has not developed and 30 years have passed and CDA only pass the time. Please take this issue serious.Recommend

  • adeel

    I have read the minutes of meeting of CDA, but four months have passed and still no response. this is just killing the time and nothing more. According to the meeting, work on roads will be started, but there is no any step taken by CDA. Please feel that they are doing nothing/////Recommend

  • The Truth

    CORRUPTION AND CORRUPTION: Other name of Pakistan.This letter is a real picture of all institutes and every social and political norms in Pakistan. How long will this state survive?? A big question.Recommend

  • Zaheer Ahmed

    I fully agree with Nosheen but I would like to add that the incompetence of CDA is not restricted to development of E12 sector.The situation is the same even in sectors which have already been developed.For exampleE11 (except one small area of multi professional society) and D12 are also victims of CDA’s apathy.The maintainance of existing residential sector is in a total mess.Broken and dipliated roads ,missing street lights and overflowing gutters and filth is a common sight .The bosses of CDA are incompetent because they are not accountable .The present rulers are only interested in development and beautification of their favourite Lahore.Islamabad is not important for them and they are not bothered about its development and maintenance.CDA knows this and they are also not bothered.Remember how quickly Kashmir highway was completed when the PM himself took notice!So young lady if you want development of E 12 sectors you better draw the attention of the PM to your miser.I suggest you send a copy of this blog to PM’s office.May be he takes notice and moves the CDA authorities.Recommend

  • Naila TARIQ

    well you are not only one suffering but thousands of I-15 allot tees suffering from the CDA management in collaboration with property dealers Land Mafia ,but astonished to say NAB is also sleeping like Supreme Court in this entire situation.For rights one has to spend millions to purchase justice through legal system and laiers (LAWERS)Recommend

  • Akhlaq

    Assalamulaykum
    How right you are!
    We do not realize the importance of each passing minute. And people want to shut their eyes on the time it really takes on development projects in public sector.
    It really takes decades for CDA to develop any sector. This is the truth. Look at G-10 or any other.. We just need to realize that it WILL takes decades (not just couple of years) for any sector to come up to a level of decent living.Recommend