CDA planning to launch a grand operation against slum dwellers

afp

ISLAMABAD: Capital Development Authority (CDA) carried out a detailed survey of the federal capital to gather the data of the slums with and has decided to demolish at least a dozen katchi abadis in Islamabad but did not mention any resettlement plan or compensation for the helpless dwellers.
According to the sources on the direction of CDA Chairman, notices had been issued to the slum dwellers of sectors G-7/1, G- 7/2, G-7/3, G-8/1, F-7/4 and F-6 to vacate their houses. CDA has asked for help from Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco), the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines (SNGPL) and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to help it carry out a grand operation against the dwellers in Islamabad.
Sources informed that the slum dwellers who reside in the katchi abadis of sectors G-7/1, G- 7/2, G-7/3, G-8/1, H11/4, F-7/4 and F-6 have been warned through public notices as the slums would be demolished between March 24 and April 30. According to the notice, CDA would demolish all these structures and the dwellers would be responsible for any sort of risk involved.
The dwellers have decided to go to the Islamabad High Court against the grand operation planned by the civic agency to demolish 12 slums in the city, whereas the leftist community of the capital city has announced this operation as an attack on the fundamental rights of thousands of working-class people who live in the capital’s slums.
Awami Workers Party (AWP) and the All Pakistan Alliance for katchi abadis are determent to strongly resist the CDA’s plan while CDA Estate member Shaista Sohail said that the civic agency had been directed by the ministry of interior to clear the illegally occupied lands from the slum dwellers, particularly to lessen security risks. It is to be noted that the Islamabad High Court’s Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddique had directed CDA to clear all the slum settlements from the capital within a month in order to ensure the security of the city.
Acting upon on the court’s judgment, CDA in collaboration with the district administration and the police has planned to launch a grand operation in March within the jurisdiction of Islamabad. The kachi abadis include Afghan Basti and Benazir Colony but surprisingly the civic agency has not chalked out any resettlement plan or compensation to the dwellers except a two-day ration and transport fare for them to get to their hometowns. The katchi abadi alliance that include AWP strongly condemned this behaviour of the civic body and said that the CDA has different policies for working class people living in the slums and those living in the superior sectors of the capital. It is pertinent to mention here that most of the inhabitants in these slums are Christians who have lived in these slums in deplorable conditions for a long time.

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