156 illegal housing societies set up in Peshawar

PESHAWAR: As many as 156 illegal housing societies have been set up in Peshawar out of which more than 70% of illegal housing societies are established on agricultural land, thus destroying agricultural land in Peshawar and threatening food security in the district.

The valuable agricultural lands in the province were fast being converted into housing schemes. The Supreme Court had ruled in a case that housing societies could not be established on agricultural land. Similarly, Prime Minister Imran Khan had already directed the government not to establish any housing schemes on agricultural lands.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan has expressed anger over the establishment of illegal housing societies in Peshawar district and said that strict action will be taken against those responsible.

While talking to this correspondent, he said that no one was allowed to set up a housing colony on agricultural land. Therefore, the government is adamant that a residential society can be established on barren land, for which fulfillment of all legal requirements is the first condition. He said that any illegal housing society in the province would not be tolerated and action would be taken against the owners and builders. Land transfers will also be stopped of all illegal societies. He said that Peshawar has spread without any plan for the last several years which is now being discouraged.

Mahmood Khan said that a new city called Peshawar Model Town is being built near Peshawar which will reduce the pressure on Peshawar.

The Peshawar Development Authority documents reveal that 156 illegal housing societies have been set up in Peshawar District without any approval or NOC from the authority. The housing societies did not submit the required legal requirements and documents.

The report showed that no housing society has provided facilities to the plot owners and residents in accordance with the law. These societies lack mosques, graveyard area, and greenbelts have been converted into residential plots. According to PDA sources, with the involvement of some government departments and the police, the process of buying, selling and transferring plots in societies is going on.

An agriculture and livestock official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said all housing societies have to get a regular NOC from the government before starting their projects on agricultural land. He said that housing projects on non-productive and barren lands are preferred to reduce pressure on agricultural lands. The conversion of agricultural and cultivable lands into housing societies was a big challenge.

Peshawar Development Authority has sent several notices to the owner and developers to complete the registration process but they have not complied with the directives. The PDA has approached the KP police to register an FIR against the owner of the illegal housing societies but they have not taken any action against the housing societies. Only one or two cases have been registered.

NAB KP has taken cognizance of Canal View, Al-Haram Model, Al Massa Model Town, Professor Model Town 2, New City Homes, Nimra Town and the inquiry is underway.

According to data available with this scribe, 156 societies were illegally established in Peshawar including City Oasis, Peshawar City Residencia, Green Homes, Madina Residencia Phase-II, New Officers Housing Society, Tasneem Garden, Haji Tariq Housing Scheme, Madina Colony, Green cottages, Faisal Town, Cornche Enclave, Galaxy Housing Scheme, Khyber Killi, Canal View, Peshawar Enclave, Al-Haram Green, Al-Haram Model Town, Al-Massa Model Town, Professor Model Town-II, Officer Housing Scheme-II, University Garden, New City Homes, executive lodges Arbab Sabaz Ali Khan Town, New Qurtaba Model Town, Old Qurtaba Model Town, Shams-ul-Qamar Colony, Peshawar Garden, Al-Moeez Homes-III, Shami Road Garden, Rauf Abad Gate 1 to 5, Apna Ghar Block-B Gulbahar-6, Hasham Babar town, Gulshan-e-Peshawar, Afridi Town, New Muslim City-3, Basher Bagh, Education Employees Foundation (EEF), Al-Madina Colony, Ozair Colony, Mehmood Khan Plotting, Gul Residencia, Gulistan Colony, Arbab cottages, Omul Qura Garden, Arfah Town, Mian Abdul Wali Shah Town, Sufian Gardens (City Oasis Phase-II), Haji Abad Town, Hamza Garden, Shah Pur Homes, Haji Gul Plots, Fahim Colony, Haji Naeem Colony, Overseas Pakistani Foundation (OPF), Malik Liaquat Abad, Asad Regi Enclave, Haji Sahibzada Town, Gulshan-E-Mehmood Colony, Chamkanni Homes, Arbab Umar Garden, M.Owais & Sajid Plotting, Khalil Garden, Arbab Yaseen Town, Nimra Town, Abbas Colony, Al-Hamra Town, United Business Complex & Housing Society, Shah Colony, Rehman House, Gulshan Abad, Naeem town, Pasban Town, Baba Town, Zia Villas, Umar colony, Peshawar Model Colony, Wajid Model Colony-II, Garden Villas, Ka Ka Khel Town, Mian Abdul Wali Shah Colony No.1&2, New Musa Khel Property Ploting, Malik Jan Abad, Madina Samar Bagh, Amin Villas Phase-II, New Dir Colony, Office Housing Society, Malik Saad Colony, Dr.Taj Muhammad Plotting, Farahan Colony (Extension), Green Homes, officers homes, Sherpao Colony, khan colony No.3, Faisal Colony, Fareed Colony, Pak Garden, Khyber City, Nobhar City, Shah Jee homes, Umar khitab Colony, Shahbaz Town and others.

This article originally appeared on The News International