ISLAMABAD - The Land Directorate of the Capital Development Authority has allotted three plots to the land affectees by ‘relaxing’ procedures, which will open floodgate for tainted allotments in violation of Standard Operating Procedures in future as well.

These plots were allotted on Thursday to land affectees in Sector I-12 through manual balloting by ignoring SOPs which raises eyebrows in the concerned circles.

It is pertinent to mention here that after the process of allotment remained unchecked for decades, the city managers prepared relatively transparent SOPs for allotment of plots to land affectees in 2017 as compensation in lieu of their land acquired in Islamabad.

The SOPs clearly state: “After principle approval of a case from member estate, plots will be allotted through manual open balloting in the presence of two members of CDA board. Date of balloting will be advertised in at least three leading newspapers.” However, in this case, the land directorate did not give advertisements in any newspapers.

When contacted, Deputy Director General Land Omer Randhwa informed The Nation that the said allotments were made on the directions of the Islamabad High Court, which asked us to submit allotment letters on the next date of hearing.

“Due to the shortage of time, we have conducted balloting without following proper procedure,” he maintained.

However, reliable sources said that the ‘advertisement’ was skipped to deprive a number of other cases that were pending for allotment for the last many years. They said the court ordered compensation but did not write in its orders to relax the SOPs in selected cases.

They informed that even those who had already allotted the plots in the past but authority could not hand over their possession are still waiting for the alternate plots.

It is pertinent to mention here that the land directorate, which remained in ‘limits’ during incumbent management due to the repeated interventions of their top bosses on several occasions against officials involved in wrongdoings to keep things in order, is once again in news for its wrongdoings.

In recent years, a couple of ballotings were held according to the laid down procedures but in this case the SOPs were violated to start a process for an unchecked and selective allotment in future.

Meanwhile, a source in the land directorate informed that a few days back, dozens of provisional letters were also given to some tainted land affectees on the pressure of a local politician.

When contacted a senior officer of the authority who wished not to be named explained that the provisional allotment letter means that the CDA had acquired the land and the allottee is supposed to get the plot after due procedure but he could not justify when asked that why only few dozen letters were issued when hundreds of files are pending in the directorate.