Illegal occupants still residing in govt flats


The Ministry of Housing and Works and the Capital Development Authority (CDA) have not succeeded in evicting the policemen and civilians who have illegally occupied 200 government flats in Aabpara, Sector G-6. A senior police officer admitted the illegality of the act but pointed out that the policemen occupying the 96 flats had obtained a stay order from the Lahore High Court (LHC) when the department had asked them to leave. “We have been persuading them to move out but mere words do not work,” the officer who is dealing with the issue told APP. The CDA had built these flats for the Ministry of Housing and Works but had not handed them over because the ministry had not paid the entire cost. At least 96 local policemen occupied the flats 22 months ago, which prompted some civilians to posses the remaining 48.
The residents live in the flats illegally and do not pay their utility bills. Some flats have also been rented out.
The flats were temporarily provided to the Anti-Riot Squad of the Islamabad police and the Punjab Constabulary officials in 2007, who were called in to help the Islamabad administration maintain law and order during the Lal Masjid operation.
However, a majority of the anti-riot police officials refused to vacate the flats after their job was done. They were also joined by constables and assistant sub-inspectors, who moved in with their families. A total of 92 police officials are residing in more than 150 flats. When pressed by senior police authorities to vacate the flats, the occupants filed a petition with LHC (Rawalpindi Bench) against their seniors. A police officer said the police department had no alternative arrangement for the illegal occupants. “Barracks are being built in the Police Lines Headquarters but their completion will take time,” he added.