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Unreal real estate business in twin cities 

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ISLAMABAD: All those who are on the lookout for investment opportunities in the real estate sector should think twice as a number of illegal housing societies that offer cheap rates are operational in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

According to a public announcement, made in this regard, by the Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) and the Capital Development Authority (CDA), the illegal housing societies set up a trap by advertising heavily on the media using reputed media houses, online property portals, property expos, and even by hiring the services of celebrities as their brand ambassadors.

The overseas Pakistanis are the main targets of such illegal housing societies, as they easily fall for the online property portals and by the advertisements made on reputed media channels.

As per the law, it is mandatory for all the housing societies to have layout plans (LOPs) of the projects, and to obtain no objection certificates (NOCs) from the authorities concerned.

Chairman Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) Raja Tariq Mehmood Murtaza while talking to Bol News said that the RDA is trying its level best to spread awareness amongst the general public with regard to the existence of illegal housing societies. The names of all the illegal operators in this regard had been uploaded on the website of the RDA, he informed.

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Expressing his concerns Mehmood said illegal housing societies in Rawalpindi are looting the general public. We are creating awareness among the people by running public service messages on the media, with the help of our website, and also by setting up a help desk at the RDA’s office. Anyone can just walk in and seek information about the legalities of the housing societies within the jurisdiction, the chairman RDA said.

Furthermore, he said people should not trust online property websites which are involved in the sale and purchase of plots. “Such websites mostly swindle Pakistanis residing in foreign territory”, he claimed, and added that as per the law, advertisements of any society that had been declared illegal are strictly forbidden.

Mehmood said he has written letters to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to impose fines or block all the websites that are engaged in promoting illegal housing societies.

Advising the general public Mehmood said people should consult the authorities concerned before investing in real estate.

The Chairman Capital Development Authority (CDA), Amir Ali Ahmed while talking to Bol News said that information regarding unauthorized housing societies has been spread on the media. The “CDA is planning to raise the fines on all the housing societies that have violated the laws”, he informed.

The CDA has also uploaded a list on its website with regard to all those housing societies that fall in the jurisdiction of the federal capital, he informed further. “Now it is the responsibility of the general public to check the status of real estate projects,” he added.

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On the flipside, despite the tall claims made by the RDA and the CDA, about a week before the property expo that was held in Islamabad, many stalls of housing societies that had been declared illegal were seen doing business at the event.

Expressing their displeasures, visitors at the expo complained that there should be information counters of the CDA and the RDA to guide the general public with regard to the status of real estate projects.

Taking notice of visitors’ complains, the Deputy Commissioner of Islamabad Hamza Shafqaat has issued a notice which clearly states that publicity of illegal housing societies is banned.

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