Owners of agro farms and senior citizens on Friday urged the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to adopt uniform policy for all agro farms’ owners, who are violating the authority’s by-laws–extending construction on the farms over and above the permissible limit of covered area.
Majority of the farmhouses have openly violated the CDA by-laws by exceeding the permissible covered area, but CDA is taking action only against those violators, who have no links with the influential class or authority’s high ups, complaint a number of participants of workshop organised by CDA on Modernisation of Agro and P&V Farming at Jamil Nishtar Auditorium, Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL).
They said that farm house owners were violating CDA’s laws with the connivance of the civic body officials. Most of the farmhouses have been converted into residential units and palatial mansions, restaurants and wedding halls, which is clear violation of the CDA rules, they said. According to the CDA’s by-laws, 80 percent of the land leased for farmhouses has to be used strictly for vegetation and poultry farming with covered area not more than 20 percent. In case of violation, CDA reserves the right to cancel the contract and take possession of the property. The produce from the land must be sold at reduced rates in weekly bazaars locally.
The CDA organised the workshop to create awareness about poultry and agro farming. Member Estate, CDA Shaista Sohail, representatives of Punjab Poultry Research Institute Rawalpindi, senior officials of ZTBL, Agro scientists, specialists of Agro framing and poultry industry and a large number of farm house owners attended the workshop. Specialists from agro farming and poultry Industry briefed the participants about agriculture and poultry production.
Shaista Sohail said that CDA formulated agro farming policy in 1960. Initially, these farm houses were allotted to affectees of Islamabad, but later on these farm houses were allotted through open auction. She said that CDA had already started operation against the violators of these agro farming schemes on the directives of Supreme Court of Pakistan, and served notices and imposed penalties on the violators.
She further said that total number of agro farms was 1079, out of which 504 had been allotted and remaining 575 would be allotted as per policy. “As many as 124 farmhouses are complying with CDA by-laws and it would be ensured that remaining farmhouses should also follow the CDA by-laws,” she said. Specialists of agro farming and poultry industry delivered lectures about the importance of poultry and agro framing. Various companies have also set stalls of agriculture equipments, seeds of various indoor ornamental plants.