ISLAMABAD-The National Assembly Standing Committee on Housing and Works has summoned chairman, Capital Development Authority (CDA) in its next meeting for briefing over the issues of PHA apartments’ project of Sector I-12.

The said apartments’ project was designed for low scale employees of the federal government by Pakistan Housing Authority, but it has come under the spotlight when a section of media pointed out the technical and legal lacunas in this project.

The 7th meeting of the Standing Committee on Housing and Works held on Wednesday at Parliament House under the Chairmanship of Engr. Muhammad Najeeb Haroon.

Federal Minister for Housing and Works Chaudhry Tariq Bashir Cheema while responding to the allegations highlighted has declared it as a baseless propaganda.

He termed one of the contractors employed for the construction of said apartments as blackmailer and alleged that he is behind the negative propaganda.

The minister briefed the committee members that it is totally baseless that the buildings are being constructed at the bed of a nallah, which is passing through the subject location. He further informed that the foundations of all the buildings were placed on the firm strata at varying depth ranging from 20 to 30 feet from NSL.

He said that all the contractors except M/s MAAKSONS were doing their works and had no issues with the project.

“M/s MAAKSONS is a defaulter and blacklisted contractor, who is behind the media propaganda against the project”, Cheema alleged.

The minister however, accepted that the CDA had some reservations in the issuance of necessary NOC of the project. The committee decided to summon the chairman CDA in its next meeting to take briefing over the issues of PHA Apartments project of I-12.

Meanwhile, the committee was informed that the Minister for Housing and Works was going to visit Karachi for holding talks with all stakeholders including the political figures from the MQM, PPP and PTI, to settle the long outstanding disputes of Pakistan Quarters and Government Societies in Karachi.

The committee urged for early settlement of the said disputes.

On the issues of non-release of funds for the approved PSDP Projects, the committee directed that the Secretaries, Ministries of Housing & Works and Planning & Development, should hold a meeting and resolve the issues at the earliest.

Regarding non-release of funds under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Programme to the province of Sindh by the government, the committee was informed that the ministry was going to take up the matter to the ECC for its resolution.

The committee urged that the release in question be made by the government in the larger public interest.

The committee also decided to summon Nadeem Akhtar Sheikh, Chief Engineer, PWD, in the next meeting to explain his position in connection with the incident occurred with a family of Quetta at Qasr-e-Naz Karachi.

Besides the Minister for Housing and Works, the meeting was attended by Mehboob Shah, Anwar Taj, Malik Karamat Ali Khokhar, Ch. Javed IqbalWarriach, Wajiha Akram, Iqbal Muhammad Ali Khan, Ch. Abid Raza, Syed IftikharUl Hassan, Tahira Aurangzeb, Abid Hussain Bhayo, Jam Abdul Karim Bijar and Syed Agha Rafiullah, MNA/members.

The senior officers of Ministry of Housing and Works, Federal Government Employees Housing Authority, PHA Foundation, Pak-PWD, Estate Office and Ministries of Planning and Development and Law and Justice were also present in the meeting.