This must be great news for real estate investors, but it’s not awesome news for some other people. Prime Minister (PM) Mr Nawaz Sharif has given approval for the development of a housing colony in the Federal Capital, but there’s a catch here: the housing society will be built by razing the premises of the National Agriculture Research Council (NARC), Pakistan’s premier institute dedicated to agricultural research.
Apparently, the housing colony will be built near Rawal Lake in Zone IV. According to a real estate maestro who contributes frequently to the Zameen.com Forum but asked not to be identified by name, the government aims to develop the society to raise revenues and it will be targeted at overseas Pakistanis. He also told Zameen.com that the PM was personally interested in the project, and that the transactions in the society would be undertaken in foreign currencies to raise the government’s foreign reserves.
According to a news source, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) has directed the Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNFSR) to establish a committee for the smooth transfer of 1,395.2 acres of NARC’s land to the civic authority.
Reportedly, the residential property units will be built on 625 acres of land, while 60 acres will be used for commercial developments and the rest of the area will comprise open spaces and public buildings.
The CDA plans to develop 6,000 residential plots in the society, from which it intends to generate Rs 100 billion, while the civic authority is likely to net Rs 30 billion from the sale of commercial properties in the locality.
A bit of relief for the NARC officials is that the civic authority will initially spare 100 acres of land, where offices and residences of NARC officers are currently located. However, after the relocation of NARC, this area will also be sold.
Agriculture makes up around 24 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). While it is encouraging that the government plans to relocate NARC, is it still justified in uprooting the prime agriculture research institute in the country to develop a profit-making housing society?
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