Now Reading: PAC Told That Monal Restaurant Was Built on CDA Land
Monal Restaurant was built on land owned by the Capital Development Authority (CDA), according to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). While discussing Audit paras for the year 2018-19, a PAC subcommittee led by Riaz Fatyana was informed that Monal was built on CDA’s land, according to recent demarcation. The CDA built the restaurant with its own funds in 2005-6 and leased it to a private party for 15 years.
According to some officials, the lease agreement will expire this year. Based on demarcation done by Survey of Pakistan, General Headquarters (GHQ) Remount Veterinary and Farms Directorate stated a few years ago that Monal was built on their land, and that the CDA had no right to operate on their land. Several letters were also sent to the CDA and the Directorate of Municipal Administration by the directorate (DMA).
DMA is a subsidiary of the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) and is in charge of the property in question. Tariq Latif, Deputy Director General (Revenue), informed the committee that the restaurant’s dues had been paid up until 2018. The lease will expire in 2023, he said, and there is “an issue [related to this property] that will be dealt with by the Ministry of Interior.”
Senator Talha Mahmood, a member of the committee, also inquired about another restaurant, La Montana, which is located next to Monal. CDA Finance Member Rana Shakeel Asghar informed him that the authority had recently completed an investigation into La Montana, which would be shared with the committee before the next meeting.
The debate started when committee members were debating the audit para regarding the non-recovery of Rs455 million in rent on CDA’s 79-acre land in Saidpur village. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) is investigating the case, and a reference has been filed, according to members.
The committee directed CDA and MCI to submit a detailed report to the committee on the land that both organizations had leased or rented out. MCI could not lease land to anyone without a CDA No-Objection Certificate (NOC), according to CDA Chairman Amer Ali Ahmed.
Meanwhile, the committee was informed by the secretary of the interior that, at the request of the PAC, an investigation into the built-up property (BuP) award announced in 2016 was conducted, with the inquiry committee concluding that there was no justification for announcing a second award. After the first award, the committee recommended taking action against those who failed to protect state land.
The award of 22 BuPs, as well as the allotment of residential plots, was announced, according to the audit para. These BuPs were in fact illegal structures after the original award was announced on May 15, 1972, due to the failure to take possession of the respective village in a timely manner. A loss of Rs117.9 million was incurred due to the failure to take possession of the land acquired.
Another audit component previously discussed was the allotment of plots to people whose land was acquired by CDA for the construction of an Islamic university in sector H-10. The committee asked CDA to provide information on all public sector universities that had been given large parcels of land. According to a committee member, there is no justification for allocating an entire sector to the construction of a single university.