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No progress on Barakahu Housing Scheme frustrates Senate body

No progress in Barakahu Housing Scheme Islamabad:

Members of the Senate Standing Committee on Housing and Works Friday warned that officials of the Housing Ministry will be dealt by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) if ambiguities shrouding Barakahu Housing Scheme (BHS) were not addressed this month.

The committee members who met at the parliament house under the chairmanship of Senator Shahi Syed expressed dissatisfaction over the explanation provided by Federal Government Employees Housing Foundation (FGEHF) director general and Public Works Department DG.

The officials insisted that FGEHF signed an agreement with Green Tree (Pvt) Ltd for development of the site and plotting but then the Supreme Court took suo motu notice and gave its verdict in 2013.

So all the steps are being taken in line with the decision of the court and the revised lay out plan consisting 3,253 plots was submitted to Capital Development Authority (CDA) in August 2013, they explained. According to the agreement for the development and preparation of BOQs, Green Tree was responsible and NESPAK was involved for vetting of BOQs/topographic surveys etcetera.

“Then we had some technical problems on grounds like costing and plotting,” they said. NESPAK has reported that the requisite number of plots as envisaged in the approved master plan as part of the agreement may not be accommodated at the site.

The officials complained that the Green Tree is reluctant to provide alternate land which they are liable to do so as per agreement.

When the committee members what options the officials have to resolve the issue, the officers replied that they would not pay the remaining cost to Green Tree, if it did not agree to fulfil its promises.

“A meeting in this connection between the executive committee of the housing foundation and the Green Tree is scheduled for January 8,” said Shahi, adding that the committee should call in the officials, vendors and other stakeholders after January 8 in a bid to resolve the issue.

The committee members were of the view that stern action be taken against the “officials in the ministry who influenced the agreement” and made things worse.

However, the committee added that if matters worsened, NAB would be involved to investigate the matter and bring the culprit to book if no practical solution was undertaken by the officials in a month.

Meanwhile, PWD DG Shahdin Shiekh informed the committee of the maintenance work of houses used by officials. The official said that as the fund release for maintenance work is on decline for the past four years, work is being limited to the minister’s residence. The issue of worsening condition of the parliament lodges was also discussed.

The meeting was attended by Senators Suriya Amiruddin, Saifullah Khan Bangash, Farhat Abbas, Saleh Shah, Saeedul Hassan Mandokhel and others.

Officials from Housing Ministry, NESPAK and others were also present in Barakahu Housing Scheme Islamabad meeting.