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Irregularities in housing projects

ACCORDING to a report of the Auditor General, massive
irregularities of hundreds of billions of rupees have been found in 41 private housing schemes of Rawalpindi. The report says these schemes have illegally encroached upon land meant for public spaces, graveyards and parks.
The Auditor General has rendered a great service by carrying out audit of these housing schemes and pointing out irregularities that caused hefty losses to the exchequer. He has done his job and it is now responsibility of the provincial government to take action against these housing societies. Action should also be taken against those responsible for keeping a vigil on such illegal activities but failed to fulfil their responsibilities. It is strange that housing schemes are being launched and advertised with fanfare and people are lured to invest their hard earned savings in these schemes. Apart from illegal means used by sponsors and owners of these schemes for acquisition of land and fraudulent tactics adopted to attract people, there are also reports that some of these societies have encroached upon government land or the land belonging to different governmental organizations. All this cannot happen without collusion of relevant officials and they must be taken to task. It has also been pointed out repeatedly that action against illegal housing societies and schemes should have been taken at the very outset. There is hardly any justification to take penal action after people buy plots and built homes there as the Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) is doing, which has asked civic departments like gas and power companies not to supply gas and electricity to houses built in these schemes. This would be unfair and instead the authorities concerned should force the sponsors to regulate their schemes by fulfilling codal formalities.