RDA loses control of six teshils | The Express Tribune


RAWALPINDI:

The Punjab government has taken away the administrative control of six tehsils from the Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) and put them under the local government.

Now under the new local bodies system, Kahuta, Kalar Syedan, Kotli Satyan, Murree, Taxila and Gujjar Khan tehsils will be included in the jurisdiction of the Rawalpindi District Council.

The new measure has been taken after the RDA failed to stop the mushroom growth of illegal housing societies in its jurisdiction. The RDA’s jurisdiction has been confined to 64 settlements including the Rawalpindi city and up to the new Islamabad airport.

According to a notification issued by the Housing Physical and Environmental Planning Department after the approval of the Punjab governor, 64 settlements under the RDA jurisdiction included Hakla, Adiala, Kot Koliyan, Narhala, Rupa, Kak, Sheikhpur, Chakra, Chak Rupa, Chak, Lakho, Jatal, Dhok Garja, Chak Jalal Din, Lakhan, Mori Ghazan, Mohra Chappar, Malikpur, Dhok Abdullah, Peng Lad, Mastrot, Rakh Adiala, Adiala, Gorakhpur, Dehgal, Rakh Dhamyal, Dhok Karam Bakhsh, Banda Nagyal, Hyal Dhamyal, Mohra Brian, Sheikhan, Panj Gran, Ojarila, Bhaga Miana, Chhani Alam Sher, Karpal, Gora Bartha and Meira Bartha.

There has been a massive growth of illegal housing societies in the Rawalpindi district due to the poor management and scarcity of a human resources in the RDA to keep a check on it. There are 54 legal and 292 illegal societies functioning in areas controlled by the RDA.

The action so far taken by the RDA against the illegal housing societies have been a complete failure as the publicity and sale of plots and constructions in these schemes continue with impunity.

The powerful land mafia has completely thwarted the RDA’s half-hearted efforts to stop the provision of utility services to the illegal housing societies.

During the last 28 months, five directors general of RDA, Abdul Sattar Issani, Chaudhry Maqbool Ahmed Dhawla, Amara Khan, Nadeem Ahmed Abro, and Malik Hayat Luck were transferred prior to the completion of their tenure. Nadeem Ahmed Abro was removed twice after the appointment. Currently, the Rawalpindi division commissioner is holding the additional charge as the RDA director-general.

The inclusion of six tehsils in the Rawalpindi District Council will not only put a stop to new housing schemes but also deprive the RDA of income under the head of various charges. The Rawalpindi District Council will have the authority to approve new housing schemes in six tehsils from now onwards. Since the RDA could not stop illegal housing schemes in these tehsils, it will be extremely difficult for the public representatives to challenge the powerful real estate developers.

 

Published in The Express Tribune, December 20th, 2021.




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