ISLAMABAD – In addition to the heavy rainfall on Wednesday, the unauthorised creation of plots by illegal housing societies in the right of way of a natural stream cost damages to the life and properties of the residents in sector E-11.
The deaths of at least two people were reported in E-11 while the flood water caused heavy loss to the properties of residents whereas there is also a probability of straight decline in the property value in the vicinity.
Chief Commissioner Islamabad and Chairman CDA Amir Ali Ahmed, who was on road since early morning to lead the rescue operation while talking to The Nation has informed that an inquiry has been ordered through the registrar cooperative housing societies to assess the losses and to point out illegal developments carried out by the private housing societies in E-11.
“We will force the managements of these private housing societies to compensate the affectees whereas all illegal structures if erected in the ROW of natural streams in E-11 would also be removed,” he maintained.
The sector E-11 is an exempted pocket of zone-I – the sectoral area of Islamabad. The area of E-11 was excluded from the land acquisition in 1960s due to renowned Golra Shrine and the influence of their caretakers.
In fact, the shrine was located at the junction of four sectors E-11, F-11 and E-12, F-12, however, CDA to protect its three sectors compensated the local land owners of Golra by awarding them alternate land but confined them in E-11.
According to CDA record, the sector E-11 comprises upon 746 acres out of which 54 acres are still with CDA in the shape of northern strip, 207 acres of land in surrounding of Golra shrine were never acquired while rest of the land is acquired but allotted to the locals in lieu of their land in adjacent three sectors.
Later, the local inhabitants sold their lands to the managements of private housing societies. There are a total of five housing societies in Sector E-11: National Police Foundation, Pakistan Medical Cooperative Housing Scheme, Federation of Employees Housing Society, Services Cooperative Housing Society and Multi Professional Cooperative Housing Society.
However, all of aforementioned five housing societies have been declared illegal by CDA time to time in past. A senior level officer informed that the NOCs of these housing societies were withdrawn mainly due to deviation from their approved layout plan.
Sources informed that the housing societies created dozens of plots in the right of the way of natural streams passing through the sector E-11 and sold them to private individuals. Resultantly, the right of way of the natural streams have been squeezed down and it is the main reason behind the yesterday’s flood.
A senior water consultant while talking to this scribe commented that these private housing societies not only committed a fraud by selling ROW of natural streams but also invited the natural disaster themselves.
He said the same water stream that starts from Shah Allah Dita runs down towards sector F-11 after crossing sector E-11 but the flood damaged most of the properties in E-11 alone because the right of way was encroached. He added further that the same flood passed normally through F-11 because the natural stream was in its original shape.
Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Planning Asad Umar also chaired a meeting and directed the Deputy Commissioner Islamabad to inquire about the illegal developments in E-11 and remove them immediately.
He also directed to shift the people living on the banks of natural streams on safer locations and also alert the people living in slums to remain prepared for any situation.
CDA has also established a control room in its headquarter and asked concerned officers to remain vigilant for next 10 days. A press release issued on Wednesday that all the areas have been cleared from rainwater and teams are prepared to counter any situation in coming days as well.