DHA makes Rs 196bn from land for martyrs’ families

DHA makes Rs 196bn from land for martyrs’ families

KARACHI: The Defence Housing Authority (DHA) has pocketed Rs 196 billion in the name of the martyrs of the Pakistan Army who embraced martyrdom in counterterrorism operations in different parts of the country.

The DHA acquired 14,000 acres of land from the Sindh government for Rs 100,000 per acre to distribute it to the families of the martyrs, but later it sold this land out for Rs 196 billion. The authority awarded plots from this land to blue-eyed people in different trades.

The Transparency International (TI) has written a letter to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to investigate the city plans of the DHA. The Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) and the Cantonment Board didn’t give approval for any such investigation. The TI asked the NAB to take action on the complaints against the DHA.

The Transparency International asked the NAB to take action against the DHA after obtaining legal documents from it.

According to the letter, the Sindh Building Control Authority didn’t approve the city plan of the society of 11,000 acres. The DHA master plan wasn’t approved according to the laws of the Clifton Control Board.

According to the letter, the DHA Karachi has been selling plots of DHA City for the last four years. Some farms were allotted for 99 years for cattle and chicken farms. It said that such changes, including 30 to 99 years lease, are illegal, adding that only the chief minister can lease land for 99 years for industrial purposes.

It is vital to mention here that the Sindh government is cancelling all illegal plots and 55.21 acres of land. The DHA changed the status of 225 plots in 2015 and that is illegal and against the verdict of the Supreme Court. The Cantonment Board only has the powers to transfer land.

Many officers of the DHA have purchased 300-square feet plots for Rs 20 million and the authority hasn’t declared them illegal. In the letter, it is stated that the current price of these plots is Rs 200 million each.

It is vital to mention here that Justice Dost Muhammad of the Supreme Court while hearing a case involving DHA asked did the authority declare the area a controlled area. On which, the counsel for the applicant said the DHA had declared 156 acres of land a controlled area, but it didn’t get possession of it.

The counsel for the DHA stated that according to the law the authority could declare any area a controlled area. On this, Justice Dost Muhammad said the Supreme Court had already given its verdict on legal protection to DHA Lahore.