ISLAMABAD: The anti-encroachment operation at Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU) has lost all its steam as the city managers were only able to retrieve 237 Kanals of the 450 acres of illegally occupied land, Pakistan Today has learnt.
The Capital Development Authority (CDA) acquired 1709 Acres, 4 Kanals and 12 Marla land back in years 1967-72. This land was allotted to the university which was then the University of Islamabad, after the payment of land in the same years, respectively. The land dispute has not been resolved since the establishment of QAU.
An operation that was was facilitated by the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Administration and Islamabad police were carried out by the CDA, and QAU administration. This operation made headlines that for the very first time, the federal government had decided to conduct an operation against influential land grabbers in the said university. However, they did not live up to their words.
During four-day of the operation that went on from January 5 to January 9, 80 Kanals of built area was recovered. Three grey structures of houses, 9 small structures of under construction houses, and 15 constructions including walls, quarters, library, cattle rooms, office, and guest rooms were demolished.
Moreover, 100 Kanals of open land retrieved and handed over to the QAU.
Some structures built on universities land by Jarrar Hussain Bukhari, son of former Senate Chairman Nayyar Hussain Bukhari was also demolished the same day.
It is pertinent to mention here that the said house was constructed back in 2006 despite the opposition of QAU administration.
Jarrar Hussain Bukhari had claimed that it is private land and took the matter in court which remained sub-judice for years. On November 26, 2016, he withdrew the case from court and on June 5, 2006, the revenue staff of ICT and CDA declared an area of 7 Acres, 4 Kanals and 9 Marlas as private property, inside the said layout plan. However, the university never accepted the disputed demarcation.
It is important to mention here that the first Mayor of Islamabad Sheikh Anser Aziz had first noticed the irregularity when he was CDA chairman. He then constituted a Joint Working Group (JWP) team to resolve the long-standing issues including lack of on-ground demarcation of the total university land, lack of vacant possession of the university land and presence of the illegal occupants, and the shortfall in the allotted university land.
The constituted JWP decided that a fresh demarcation of land would be carried out by the Survey of Pakistan (SOP) and it will be assisted by the city managers, CDA and ICT. However, during the survey in March-April 2017, officials of CDA and ICT couldn’t assist the SOP.
Accordingly, the SOP submitted its latest report on September 29, 2017, which indicates that the land inside the boundary line of the university is 1557.12 acres against the allocated 1709 Acres by the CDA. Thus, there is a shortfall of 152 acres in the university land. And the land of 1557.12 acres also includes the 298 acres of land in custody of the illegal occupants and encroachers of nine villages.
Thus the total shortfall in university land is 450 acres and 152 acres of land was not allotted to the university in addition to the illegal encroachment of 298 acres.
Interior Minister Shehryar Khan Afridi also claimed that all land of QAU has been retrieved and handed over to the university’s administration; however, the land issue still persists and needs the attention of the concerned authorities.
Upon contact, Additional Deputy Commissioner Revenue (ADCR) Kamran Ali Cheema said that he was concerned with the encroachment of Nayyar Hussain Bukhari’s house only.
CDA’s spokesperson Safdar Ali Shah said that 237 Kanal land was retrieved during the recent operation in QAU and 17 families were also compensated with land and given payments against their built-up property. “It was the first phase in which 237 Kanals of land was vacated from various encroachers. CDA handed over the possession of this land for the establishment of the King Hamad University of Nursing and Associated Medical Sciences (KHUNAMS), in Chatha Bakhtawar, Park Road to the Ministry of National Health Services and Regulations Coordination,” he said.
He further said that this was the first phase in which the operation was conducted jointly by the CDA, ICT administration, QAU administration, and police.
“There are more phases of anti-encroachment operations to come to resolve the long-standing 450 acres of disputed QAU land and the affectees will be given compensation,” he concluded.