LAHORE – Scores of victims of Pakistan’s largest housing developer, DHA in its DHA City Project Lahore took to the streets demanding their plots that have been pending for a staggering 7 years time.
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The demonstrators including women and kids- of whom many were not even born when the project was launched- chanted slogans against Defence Housing Authority for not being able to provide them with their plots.
The project ‘DHA City Lahore’ was launched in June 2010 for civilians and families of martyred soldiers to get a lifetime opportunity of building their homes in the reputed housing authority.
The DHA administration that promised to deliver the plot within a vicinity of around 3 Kilometers near its EME sector, concealed the wheeling and dealing being carried out, however, it kept receiving the money from file holders.
Back in 2013, after having received the total amount against the respective category of plots, it also issued allocation letters to the plot holders, disclosing an official map of the society, suggesting that the land adjacent to the ‘Band Road’ Lahore near Thokar Bypass would be developed for the said purpose.
However, when the file holders tried to take possession of their land, it was revealed that a scam hit the said project, leaving victims ‘high and dry’.
Statistically, over 11,700 individuals had applied for acquiring the plot and unfortunately, the victims included families of fallen soldiers as well.
Defence Housing Authority, instead of compensating the loss, moved National Accountability Bureau taking the plea that it was robbed at the hands of another individual.
What adds insult to the injury of housing society is the fact that when at a time it has failed to deliver plots to its ‘DHA City’ victims, it is exploring new business opportunities in Bahawalpur and Multan.
The victims of the project, who are knocking every other day demand that their hard-earned money was not meant to go to waste in such a manner.
The protestors who gathered outside the Lahore Press Club last week and staged multiple protests in the recent past as well demanded higher authorities to intervene and help them get justice.
One of the victims, Khalid Rafi demanded formulation of a Joint Investigation Team to investigate the matter in a stipulated period of time.
On the other hand, when this correspondent contacted the legal wing of DHA, it was conveyed that the matter was being settled between the housing developer and the accused and hopefully, it would be resolved by the end of current year.
He also clarified that the amount collected against the land would not be paid back and victims would be handed over the plots, as promised.
It bears mentioning that recent media reports suggested that the brother of former military head Kamran Kiyani was also one of the accused in the scam. Reportedly, Kamran Kayani of Elysium Holding and Hamaad Arshad of Globaco had offered their services to facilitate DHA in carrying out the project by acquiring land.