Faisal seeks SC, NAB help in retrieving ministry lands

ISLAMABAD - Federal Minister for Housing and Works Makhdoom Faisal Saleh Hayat has urged the Supreme Court of Pakistan and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to help out his ministry in curbing corruption and recovering its illegal occupied lands.
Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, Faisal said that the Pak PWD owned a huge land in Pakistan that was illegally occupied by various groups. He told that the Ministry owns around 800 acres of land in Karachi out of which 80 per cent was under illegal occupation.
He said that he has written to the Governor Sindh and the coalition parties to help the ministry in this land recovery besides a case of precious peace of 36 canals of land of a Rest House at Kashmir Point Murree was in the court and has not yet been decided. He also said that the widow of a PAK PWD security guard has claimed its ownership.
The Federal Minister further said that the Estate Office of the Ministry of Housing and Works owns 16000 houses while there were around 4 lakh government employees. “Most of these houses are under illegal occupation and the civil court has given stay order in 900 cases without listening to the ministry besides the rents of million of rupees was pending,” Fasial Saleh Hayat said. He urged the Chief Justice of Pakistan and Chief Justices of Lahore and Sindh High Courts to take up these cases on an urgent basis.
Giving the details of the corruption cases in his ministry, the minister said that the Ministry before him did not follow the PEPRA rules and now he has ordered them to follow the rules otherwise a strict action would be taken against them.
He told the media that when he had sworn in as Minister for Housing and Works a case of 3300 canals land, purchased by his ministry, was in the Supreme Court and the Ministry in the apex court was stick to its stance that this land purchase was transparent but he himself presented in the court and changed the stance.
He told that he announced an inquiry, which informed this land was purchased from a company Green Trees owned by Dr Hafeez, the brother of a government official. The value of the land at that time was around Rs 44000 per canal but it was purchased at the rate of Rs 950,000.
He further said that the tender, which was floated by the Ministry, was only for the land purchasing but the Ministry also leased the development of this land for Rs 1.3 million per acre.  He said that the Supreme Court had taken a Suo moto on this case however the decision on this case was still pending. Another corruption case also surfaced in the construction of a bridge in district Toba Tek Sindh and an MNA was involved in this case, he further said.
Similarly, the Ministry was renovating its guesthouse in Karachi before his appointment as Federal Minister for Housing and they used bulletproof glass with the cost of Rs 6500 per square feet but when he called the inquiry it was informed that the rate of this glass was Rs 650
He told that the Ministry has sent number of such cases to NAB and the last case was sent some six months before but no action has yet been taken. He was of the view that if NAB and other courts give decisions against these cases, the institutions’ performance can be improved. Giving details of his ministry, he told that the PAK PWD has completed the schemes of Rs. 1240 million of PWD-1 while the schemes of Rs. 7918 million of PWD-2 have also been completed.
He informed that the Ministry during the last four years completed 2800 projects of worth Rs 6140 million.
To a question regarding corruption allegations against him, the minister said that he went to the Supreme Court to prove corruption in RPPs and if somebody have solid proof against him, he should also go to the court against him.

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