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CDA asked to stop diverting agriculture farms to business use




  • The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed Chairman Capital Development Authority (CDA) to take effective measures in order to stop the misuse of agriculture farms for business purposes. A three-judge bench led by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry resumed the hearing of a case with regard to misuse of agri farms in the federal capital. 

    The bench also directed the CDA to take action against illegal allottees without any discrimination. The bench observed that the CDA was reluctant to take action against those who had constructed three-storey buildings without permission. 

    During the course of proceeding, the Chief Justice queried why the construction area had been extended from 2,500 square feet to 10,000 square feet without any justification in twenty-kanal plots since 2004. The court, while expressing dissatisfaction over a report submitted by Munir Paracha, the counsel for CDA, on actions taken by the Authority in this regard, said the CDA was not taking effective steps required to stop the misuse of agri farms. 

    The court also observed that without the intervention of the Supreme Court such practice could not be brought to a halt. Malik Ghulam Murtaza, Deputy Director General (DDG) CDA, apprised the court that he personally visited the location of agri farms and found no marriage hall in use for business purposes; he acknowledged that marriage ceremonies did take place but insisted that the ceremonies were not on commercial basis. 

    Khushnood Ali Khan, a farm owner, requested the court to make him a party to the case, which was accepted by the court. Khan told the bench that CDA in its contract had promised to provide a subsidy on electricity but IESCO was levying domestic charges. He further stated the CDA did not supply water to farm houses, therefore they could not use land for agriculture purposes. Khan, however, admitted that agri farms were still being used on commercial purposes. The court adjourned the case for three weeks. 

    Copyright Business Recorder, 2013

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