ISLAMABAD: Real estate agents held a protest on Monday at the Capital Development Authority’s (CDA) office, alleging that the corruption in the civic agency was affecting their business.
Dozens of real estate agents raised slogans against the civic authority and said that because of bribery and corruption, CDA was taking a long time in developing various sectors.
Some protester also criticised the civic authority for demanding development charges from real estate agents for the development of sector I-15 when no such announcements were made when the sector was launched many years ago.
The real estate agents also said that when signing deeds to land, CDA officials demand bribes from their customers.
“We are suffering at the hands of corrupt CDA officials,” said Waheed Ahmed, a property dealer.
Another protester, Imran Ali, said that the civic authority’s officials especially those working in various offices of the land directorate always seem reluctant to work.
“You have to pay bribes from the very start of your case right through to the end, when the plot is transferred from one owner to another,” he said.
All through the protest, security staff kept the gates to the office of the chairman closed and the Aabpara police also came to the scene, where they arrested a large number of protesters.
The protesters were later released after negotiations between CDA officials and protestors when both the parties decided to talk out the issues being faced by the agents.
CDA does not have a spokesperson for now; however, a senior official of the authority said that by staging a protest, the real estate agents were blackmailing CDA officials.
“For a few days now, these agents have not been allowed inside CDA buildings, where they used to make deals with those whose land has been acquired by CDA and are to be given an alternate plot,” he said.
The official added that real estate agents who had invested in I-15 were now unwilling to pay for the development charges of the sector.
CDA’s land directorate is considered to be one of the most corrupt departments where officials work with property dealers to purchase land from those who are to be given plots in exchange for their land which CDA has acquired at nominal charges and then sell it off for a higher price.
In order to stop this from happening, the current management banned property dealers from entering CDA buildings and issued a circular to this effect, though the ban has had no effect and property dealers can be seen roaming the corridors of the Land Directorate.