ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) continues to face challenges in initiating the process of granting possession to the allottees of Sector I-15, despite an additional year having passed. The individuals eagerly awaiting the allocation of their plots have been left in anticipation for several years.
Under the leadership of Chairman CDA Capitan (r) Noor-ul-Amin Mengal, the current management has encountered difficulties in progressing with the development of Sector I-15, clearly illustrating their struggles. Although the plots in Sector I-15 were allotted back in 2005, development activities have remained stagnant for an extended period due to various reasons.
City officials had initially assured that possession handovers to plot owners would commence in June 2022. Furthermore, plans were announced in November 2022 for the Prime Minister to present possession letters to a select group of allottees during a formal ceremony. A list of approximately 3,000 plots, prepared for possession in the three subsectors of I-15, was published on the CDA website. However, these plans have not been realized on the ground.
Approximately one hundred individuals submitted applications to obtain possession in Sector I-15 but are still awaiting ownership of their plots as per the authority’s plans.
The delay in granting possession is mainly attributed to unresolved service-related issues, according to CDA officials. However, there is hope for a new approach to possession allocation as the CDA is considering partnering with the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) to manage possession transfers through online coordination, departing from the traditional manual procedures.
Officials claim that an agreement with NUST is in progress, and once finalized, possession handovers to allottees will proceed. However, this implies an additional indefinite waiting period for the concerned individuals.
Sector I-15 spans 746 acres and is situated in Zone-I, as per the Islamabad city master plan. Originally intended to be a residential sector catering to low-income groups, the plan envisioned the creation of 13,685 housing units, comprising 5,685 plots of varying sizes and 8,000 apartments.
The infrastructure development contract was initially awarded to Al-Khan in 2006 on a design-construction basis, but the contract was terminated due to the contractor’s default.
Following a bidding process, the Chinese firm CMEC submitted a bid of Rs54 billion, considerably higher than the CDA’s estimated cost of Rs14 billion. However, this bid was rejected for cost considerations.
In June 2012, during former President Asif Zardari’s visit to China, an MoU was signed between the CDA and a consortium of CMEC and CRFG for the development of Sector I-15. However, objections from the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) and federal planning and finance divisions led to the expiration of the MoU in December 2012. Subsequently, the CDA Board opted to abandon the idea of constructing flats and instead increased the number of plots, each measuring 138 square yards, from 3,454 to 7,738.