Rashakai SEZ

ACE unearths illegal occupation of CPEC land

PESHAWAR: The Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has unearthed a mega scam of illegal occupation of thousands of kanal land of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) by the local influential people in Nowshera district, The News learnt.

The district administration, revenue officials and all the officials concerned had been issued notices by the ACE in the scam in which thousands of kanal of land worth billions of rupees has been occupied in Rashakai, Nowshera.

It was learnt that hundreds of plots have been sold in an illegal house scheme planned over the land already acquired by the government. Besides, restaurants, farmhouses and other constructions have also been made on the land.

“Anti-Corruption Establishment is pursuing the government’s policy of zero-tolerance against corrupt practices,” director ACE Usman Zaman told The News. He confirmed that an inquiry was launched after reports of illegal construction and occupation of land by the locals in the CPEC projects.

“The land where illegal construction has been made and illegal housing schemes launched has already been awarded to the government for the Rashakai Special Economic Zone, CPEC City Housing Scheme, PAF Operational Requirement Land and University of Engineering and Technology,” an assistant director of the ACE, Naseer Ali, told The News.

The available record transpires that notification under Section-4 of the Land Acquisition Act 1894 has been issued on April 25, 2017 for acquiring landed property measuring 13,494 kanal 15 marla.

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“After the ACE conducted an inspection, sale and purchase of plots by a private person was revealed for a township on the land acquired for CPEC City Housing Scheme. Besides, it was revealed that restaurants and farmhouse have been constructed on a part of the land under acquisition,” said the AD ACE.

He added the disbursement of compensation amount on one project had been stopped since September last year. During the investigation, it was revealed that deals have been made between private persons for the sale of plots on the official land.

An inquiry report by the ACE stated that a notification under Section-4 was issued for land measuring, 4176 Kanal, for PAF Operational Requirement but later on notifications under sections 6 and 17 of the Land Acquisition Act were issued for acquiring land measuring 2,213 kanal.

“The compensation amount for the land has been transferred to the District Collector. A private housing scheme is being illegally established on this land with a site office set up in the area,” said AD Naseer Ali.

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The inquiry revealed that a notification under Section-4 was issued on January 4, 2018, for the land acquired for the University of Engineering and Technology and the compensation amount had been transferred to the Account District Collector.

“The facts indicate gross negligence on part of the concerned authorities for not diligently taking care of the land under acquisition, resulting in illegal constructions and raising fraudulent housing society despite issuance of notification under section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act 1894,” a source quoted from the inquiry.

It has also been revealed that the PAF authorities have sent a letter to the deputy commissioner of Nowshera requesting to stop the illegal constructions on the land under acquisition.

The Field Revenue Staff in response to the letter submitted a report regarding the illegal constructions on June 22 through the proper channel but no action has been initiated, the inquiry report stated.

“The delay in the process of acquisition, illegal construction upon the lands for which notification under Section-4 has been issued and fraudulent sale and purchase, and establishment of housing society will lead to unwarranted litigation and huge losses to the government exchequer in wake of the demand by those involved in encroachment.

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Besides, it can deprive many people of the huge amount of money in the name of plots in housing societies that can create law and order situation in future,” the ACE inquiry maintained.

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