islamabad - The National Assembly Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat yesterday directed the Capital Development authority to strengthen its enforcement mechanism to address illegal constructions and land grabbing in Islamabad.

The committee made these observations in a meeting held in the Parliament House under the chairmanship of MNA Rana Muhammad Hayat Khan. The committee while discussing the cases of embezzlement and misuse of authority by employees of CDA being inquired by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) observed that inquires should be expedited and cases in courts should be actively pursued. The committee observed that rampant land grabbing and illegal constructions in Islamabad are causing loss to national exchequer as well as creating public nuisance.

The committee attributed all such illegal activities to the connivance of CDA employees. The chairman directed CDA to take necessary steps immediately to strengthen its enforcement mechanism and take legal action all employees who were involved in those activities. 

The committee directed the CDA to expedite ongoing departmental inquiries so that all those responsible for causing loss to national exchequer should be booked. The committee also directed for checking nonconforming use of residential properties for commercial purposes. The committee observed that delay in action against illegal constructions and land grabbing encouraged progression. 

Responding to the observations of the committee, the chairman CDA admitted that CDA employees had been evolved in patronising land grabbers and illegal construction in the past; however, presently a zero tolerance policy towards corruption has been adopted and instant action is initiated against corrupt officials. He assured the committee that all ongoing departmental inquiries against its employees would be expedited and penalties would be awarded to create deterrence, besides referring cases to FIA and NAB, wherever financial embezzlement is traced. He further informed the committee that land grabbing and illegal constructions were mainly in un-acquired sectors of Islamabad.

The committee also directed the CDA to initiate development work at sector I-11 without further delay. The chairman CDA assured the committee that contract in that regard would be awarded within a week.

While discussing the contract award of plot for Grand Hayyat Hotel, the committee directed CDA board to review its earlier decision and rescind the illegal agreement with the developer, fix responsibility against all those responsible and report back to committee within three months. The committee opined that the national exchequer had sustained substantial loss due to illogical and imprudent decision of the board giving undue concessions to the land developer.

The chairman said that CDA board should avoid taking such decisions in future which are contrary to the public interest. The committee also directed for removing all those legal counsels from its panel who had failed to actively plead the CDA cases in courts of law.

The meeting was attended by Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, Minister of State for CA&DD, MNAs Malik Ibrar Ahmad, Syed Javed Ali Shah, Sardar Muhammad Irfan Dogar, Parveen Masood Bhatti, Nighat Parveen Mir, Shahnaz Saleem, Farhana Qamar, Dr Mahreen Razzak Bhutto, Asad Umar, Nafeesa Inayatullah Khattak and Muhammad Rehan Hashmi, Secretary M/o CAA&DD, Chairman CDA and officers of NAB and FIA.