Interior minister vows to rid capital of encroachments

  • State minister announces all rights, a model housing project for slum dwellers of Islamabad

ISLAMABAD: State Minister for Interior Affairs Shehryar Afridi has said that it is his foremost mission to rid the capital of the illegal constructions and encroachments, stressing that those who think they have law at their service will be dealt at first.

Addressing a press conference here on Wednesday, he appraised the journalists about the recent anti-encroachment operation that aimed to raze the illegal encroachments and get the possession of the state land back from private housing authorities and said that 33 thousand kanal land from a private housing society has been retrieved of which four hundred kanal is pristine commercial land.

“The total market value of that land near the Kuri Road is around Rs 300 billion,” he said, adding that the worth of the land retrieved from the illegal possession on right of way near the Kashmir Highway after razing marques, workshops and plazas is around nine billion rupees. He said that an expensive plot near Centaurus that was used as site office has also been retrieved and its worth was around Rs 10 billion.

Afridi also touched upon the issue of slums in the capital and promised that due rights would be extended to them. “We are ashamed of what was done to people residing in the slums in the past and will announce housing project on the basis of the model village for them soon,” he said, adding that the slum dwellers would get full rights as citizens of Pakistan.

He said that the encroachment mafia would face the law without pressure and without interference. About the victims of the sectors, he said that they would be facilitated. It is pertinent to mention that few days ago the victims have demanded action against those who have encroached upon the state land and has left 4000 people unemployed and asked that 90 days of time be given to them to vacate the land and find alternate livelihood.

“The government has promised not to snatch anyone’s job and it should give another opportunity,” they said and pointed out that mostly model villages in the constituency of Prime Minister Imran Khan were located and he should better pay heed. The victims demanded that the denying of the CDA Award as per the 1960 Award is akin to the criminal negligence.

Appreciating the role of media, Afridi said that they have played an exemplary part. “Our media should monitor the drive and if any official is found violating the laws, it should point out immediately and prompt action will be taken against them,” he said. “Past rulers humiliated the people, we will not let it happen again and take action across the board,” he said.

He revealed that Prime Minister Khan himself was monitoring the anti-encroachment drive and nobody was above the law and it would be replicated in letter and spirit.