Property frauds of trillions in Karachi await NAB attention: Altaf Shakoor

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KARACHI: Property frauds of trillions of rupees in the mega city, Karachi, need urgent attention of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), as defrauded people are running from pillar to post for justice, said Pasban e Pakistan President Altaf Shakoor here on Friday.

Welcoming the chairman NAB Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal’s resolve to that a strict action against the perpetrators of housing societies’ scam in Punjab, he said in Karachi a large number of people have also been looted by the fraudulent societies, shoddy real estate dealers and corrupt officials of government departments who have keep many mega projects dormant, deliberately, after receiving huge sums of money from the allottees.

Altaf Shakoor, quoting the example of the Hawksbay Scheme- 42 of Lyari Development Authority (LDA), where a large number of allottees are still deprived of possession of their plots, said such complaints are also there regarding the Malir Development Authority (MDA), Karachi Development Authority (KDA), Sehwan Development Authority and many more entities. He said the LDA is still sitting over billions of rupees collected from the Scheme-42 allottees, and it has not even started development work in several sectors of the mega housing scheme.

He said some real estate tycoons have already alleged gotten forcibly shifted whole villages in Malir, Thatta and Sujawal to illegally occupy their precious ancestral lands. He said hundreds of thousands of Karachiites are also defrauded by different small and big private real estate developers and marketers in the garb of flat, apartment and plot schemes. He said Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) is considered amongst the most corrupt departments as it is allegedly providing shelter to the mega frauds in real estate sector. He said Board of Revenue Sindh, Karachi Development Authority (KDA), Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) are also accused of mega corruptions in land matters. He said even low-rank employees of land-related departments, like registrars and sub-registrars, gather unbelievingly huge amounts of bribe and make properties worth billions of rupees in Pakistan and abroad.

He said the mushroom growth of shoddy real estate dealers in Karachi and their luring advertisements in newspapers and electronic media is behind depriving thousands of innocent citizens of their life-savings. He said the notorious China-cutting practice in Karachi tells loud and clear about the nexus of greedy real estate people and corrupt government officials. He said the land fraud and China cutting cases should be tried in anti-terrorism or special military courts and new laws should be enacted in this regard as the real estate scams are the mother of all other crimes.

He said that the citizens could be saved from these property frauds if the departments like SBCA, KDA, KMC, LDA, MDA and other such entities update regularly their websites and provide threadbare information about the land and property related matters to citizens using modern digital technologies. He said new portals should be introduced where the citizens can get updated and real-time information about all property and real estate matters to save them from the real estate mafia. He said as crime in Karachi is closely related to property frauds and China cutting, Sindh police departments, Pakistan Rangers Sindh, CPLC and other stakeholders should open special anti-property fraud sections and desks, besides toll-free helplines and digital technology platforms to receive complaints from the aggrieved citizens and take urgent action against the real estate mafia people and other fraudulent elements.

Altaf Shakoor said Karachi faces acute shortage of residential facilities and the KMC, KDA, LDA, MDA and Association of Builders and Developers (ABAD) should launch mega low-cost residential schemes on urgent basis as millions of new housing units are needed to cater the rising demand in this sector.

He suggested that some mega schemes in the housing sector should also be initiated under the China Pakistan Economic Corridors (CPEC), as the Chinese experts have already built several new mega cities in China, adding this successful experience should also be replicated in Karachi which needs low-cost high-rise schemes to house millions of its citizens who urgently need accommodation. He further suggested initiating a Karachi-Hyderabad Industrial Corridor project in the pattern of Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor under the CPEC to expand industrial base, besides setting up new modern towns, which would also help in reducing huge pressure on housing sectors in Karachi and Hyderabad.

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