Islamabad - Hundreds of Capital Development Authority employees yesterday staged a protest demonstration against the real estate agents, believing they are using pressure tactics to get their illegal business done at the CDA offices.

A day before, the real estate agents held a protest at the CDA headquarter, alleging that corruption in the civic agency was affecting their business. Islamabad Real Estate Agents Association was of the view that because of bribery and corruption, CDA was taking long time in developing various sectors despite the fact that the authority has already collected development charges from the plot-owners. The agents also said that CDA officials demand bribe from their customers. A large number of protesters were also arrested during the protest; however, they were later released after negotiations between the CDA officials and the protestors when both the parties decided to talk out the issues being faced by the agents.

Hundreds of the CDA employees raised slogans against the attitude of the agents and called it an offensive against the CDA high-ups. They expressed their support to the chairman CDA and member administration for their actions against the agents. The CDA officials said that few weeks back, the administration had imposed ban on the entry of the property dealers into the authority’s offices with a view to curb corrupt practices which annoyed the latter.

They were of the view that the agents used to make deals with those whose land has been acquired by CDA and are to be given alternate plots. They believed that the agents were blackmailing the CDA officials.

The CDA’s land directorate is allegedly amongst the most corrupt departments of the authority where officials move in connivance with the property dealers to purchase land from those who are to be given plots in exchange for their land which CDA has acquired at nominal price and then sell it off for a higher price.

The CDA has been in the news nowadays for all the wrong reasons. The officials from the authority are facing FIA and NAB action on account of multiple inquiries on different issues. Over 100 CDA officials are being investigated for corrupt practices by the FIA. According to CDA records presented before the senate body on cabinet secretariat some time back, FIA is currently pursuing 55 cases against the CDA officials.

The nature of the cases vary from fraudulent allotments of plots to misuse of official position, official negligence and to illegal promotions. CDA Deputy Director, Chaudhary Iftikhar Ali Haideri was caught red-handed accepting bribes worth Rs 7 million from the owner of a shopping mall some months back.