Thursday, May 7, 2009

Land mafia occupies valuable land allotted to poor

The land mafia, one of the main factors behind the ethnic clashes in Karachi in last week has occupied the valuable commercial land of dozens of cooperative societies allotted to the poor people on government rate.
Sources disclosing this said the land mafia involved the officials of the cooperative department who has backing of influential political leadership of the ruling parties.
Sources said in most of the cases the officials adopted new method to help out the mafia in occupying on valuable land in more then two dozens cooperative societies.
Insiders said under the new method the cooperative department posted administrators in cooperative societies to take over the control of the land from the elected bodies and later the land were transferred to builder mafia through illegal method.
The provincial government provided land to cooperative societies at minimum rate of Rs one sq yard. Large numbers of poor and middle class people are the members of these societies and they elected their office bearers to run the affairs of the society and for the development of the land. Under the law the societies were responsible to develop their land and they were authorized to collect funds from the members for the development.
However, sources said that land mafia and authorities of the cooperative society both have occupied valuable land of these societies. The authorities have taken over the control of these societies through posting of officials and the nominees of the mafia working as administrators have dissolved the elected bodies.
Moreover, sources said this fraud was going on since last six months and the poor employees of the Sindh government also have been deprived of valuable land through this new method. The government had allotted land to poor employees through Sindh Secretariat Cooperative Society.
Another society member’s who have been deprived their valuable land is the Writer Gild Cooperative Society. Poets and writers are the members of this society. Sources said the Cooperative department first took over the control of this society and later auctioned its commercial land through their inspectors.
In addition, other societies where land grabbers and authorities have deprived the members include Saudabad Cooperative Society, Muradabada Cooperative Society, Delhi Ryan Cooperative Society, Gawalyar Cooperative Society, Gulistan Cooperative Society, Timber Cooperative Society and others.
The Secretary Cooperative Department had dissolved elected bodies of these cooperative societies and appointed administrators. Later the authorities sold the commercial land through auction on minimum price and the proceeds were not transferred in the accounts of these societies.
Sources said that the authorities of the cooperative department threatened the affected people who lodged complaints that no action would be taken against the officials involved in this illegal occupation as they have backing of a woman ruling party leader who is very powerful. (Daily National Courier)

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