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Minister in hot water over uplift work

ISLAMABAD:

The Senate Standing Committee on Housing and Construction expressed its anger at Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiative Minister Asad Umar for carrying out road and construction work in Sector G-14 of Islamabad which is managed by the Federal Government Employees Housing Authority (FGEHA).
The meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Housing and Construction was held at the Parliament House under the chair of Senator Khaji Hidayatullah.
The senate panel said that people were living illegally in the said sector where the local MNA Asad Umar was constructing roads using his funds.
The senate committee said that action should be taken against every government that was carrying out development work in the sector.
The committee said the residents were not leaving their illegal occupation but the local MNA was carrying out development work there.
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The committee sought a report from the planning ministry on the development work recently carried out in sectors G-14/2 and G-14/4.
Senator Behrmand Tangi said MNA Asad Umar has carried out work in streets in the said sector where people were living illegally.
Senator Afnan said that a letter should be written to Asad Umar to inquire why he had carried out the development work in Sector G-14.
Talking about Sector G-14, Director-General Housing Authority Tariq Rashid said that they have the build-up property record on the GIS map. He said that locals pelted stones at their staff when they carried out action against irregular properties a few days back. He said that they have formulated a plan for the development of Sector G-14.
Secretary Housing Imran Zaib said that MNA Asad Umar and Ali Nawaz were cooperating with them.
At this, Senator Fida Hussain observed illegal occupants were getting gas and electricity and what kind of cooperation it was.
The senate committee also took up the issue of Bhara Kahu Housing Scheme Phase-II.
Senator Behramand Tangi said why Shamlat land was purchased for the scheme after taking millions of rupees from the people.
Housing Secretary Imran Zaib said that the joint venture partner has clarified that the land belonged to him and he did not have any issue in it.
He said that the NOC for Kathar has been found and 1,986 kanals of land has been cleared by NAB and they got ownership of dispositions after transfer.
He said 70 per cent of Islamabad and Rawalpindi were built on dispositions/Shamlat.
The committee also discussed the matter about a naib tehsildar who had bought power of attorneys in certain sectors through his brother also came under discussion.
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Housing Authority DG Tariq Rashid said that the brother of the naib tehsildar Zakir Hussain had purchased lands on the power of attorneys and action has been initiated against him.
Senator Kamal Ali Agha asked why his case was not being sent to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). The housing secretary said that buying lands on power of attorney was not illegal and no action can be taken in such cases.
Senator Kamil Ali Agha said that it was yet to be seen to what extent the naib tehsildar had facilitated his brother.
He told the secretary to send the case to the NAB or the FIA.
The housing secretary assured the committee that the case would be sent to NAB if the committee recommended so.
The senate committee directed the housing secretary to the case of the naib tehsildar to the FIA or the NAB for an investigation.
The housing secretary said that the case will be sent to the FIA for further probe.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 12th, 2021.

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