Anti-Corruption Day: Cognisance of Illegal Housing Societies

‘December 9’ marks the World Anti-Corruption Day – symbolising the concept as a disease in social and moral contexts, which gradually envelops the aspects of the system and hollows out the foundations of the whole system.

Corruption can be of any form – tangible or intangible, in the form of bribery, lawlessness, abuse of power and position, tax evasion or any other immorality. And, like every other country, system, and sector, Pakistan has also been deeply plagued by the phenomenon.  

This World Anti-Corruption Day, Graana.com sheds light on the corrupt practices that had engulfed Pakistan’s real estate sector.

 

Challenges in Pakistan’s Real Estate Sector

Pakistan’s real estate sector broadly faces 4 significant challenges, which includes;

  • Lack of Planning
  • Lack of Authority
  • Lack of Access to information
  • Malpractices – illegal possession, projects and dead capital

Encroachments, life-long property disputes between individuals or government departments over title-to or possession-of immovable property or state-owned land, forcible dispossession of a rightful owner, and illegal housing societies and projects resulting in dead capital – such practices are not unusual in Pakistan.

At this point, a framework is imperative to determine the legality of every real estate project – residential or commercial.

 

Curbing Corruption in Real Estate

Recognising the need of the hour, various significant stakeholders, including private businesses, development authorities and the government itself, have introduced transformative procedures to curb corruption in Pakistan’s real estate sector.  

 

Cadastral Mapping

Recently, the government of Pakistan launched ‘Cadastral Mapping’ in three major Pakistan cities – Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi- to eliminate illegal land grabbing and ensure transparent transactions.

Digital mapping is a comprehensive system to highlight the boundaries of subdivisions of land, help determine the property’s location, indicate its size and shape, and reveal geographic relationships that affect property valuation.

This technological advancement has played a significant role in retrieving about 50,000 square kilo-metres were covered in the four federating units of Punjab, K-P, Balochistan and Sindh. It was also revealed that state land worth around Rs5.59 trillion is encroached, whereas forest land worth Rs1.86 trillion also encroached.

 

Property Verification Centre

While campaigning against illegal housing societies, it was revealed that there are around 140 illegal housing societies in Islamabad, out of which only 64 are authorised. Upon further study by the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), it was concluded that from a list of 64 approved societies, only 22 had a NOC.

Strengthening their campaign against illegal real estate practices, Pakistan’s first Property Verification Centre in the federal capital. This system aims to ensure the prevention of illicit transactions in real estate. Investors will now know the legal status of any project from the office of the Deputy Commissioner Islamabad or the official website before investing in it. The procedure comprises a few simple steps.

If you’re a buyer:

  • Visit the centre, fill out a property details form and submit it to the Property Verification Centre.
  • The Verification Centre will notify you within 24 hours by text message whether the property is legal or not.

*Note that there is no processing fee for this process, i.e. you can complete this process without paying any charges.

 

Pakistan’s First Online Real Estate Marketplace

With a mission to simplify the real estate experience for every Pakistani, Graana.com – Pakistan’s 1st Online Real Estate Marketplace launched services nationwide. The Proptech pioneer seeks to sort out the needs and provide transparent and authentic real estate services to the Pakistani community.

Redefining conventional methods through Proptech, the Graana app – a smart, seamless and efficient digital portal merges the physical forefront with distance digitally to offer thousands of verified listings – with detailed property features to buy-rent-sell property and investment opportunities on the go. The app features an advanced Dashboard, thousands of Verified Listings – updated regularly, Wanted Feature – (lets you buy, sell, rent, or invest directly with Graana Gurus), Secure Transactions, and Quality customer care and query response. With all-you-need on a single screen, the innovative app is available for download on – App Store, Google Play Store and Huawei AppGallery.

This resolve will be fulfilled by offering Propsure Digital Solutions, which aims to ascertain the quality control mechanism and provide state-of-the-art services in the domains of Estate Management, Urban Planning and Management, Disruptive Technologies, Property Valuation and Assurances, Public Policy, and Regulatory Affairs.

 

Only about 0.5% of the development in our country is done according to a plan. Whereas the remaining 99.5% of the construction activities are unplanned. Most housing societies exist on paper, social media sites, or billboards, but not on land. Masses buy unregistered and uncertified properties without verifying documents or understanding the importance of NOCs.

Problems will indeed continue to grow. However, the first step towards rectification is understanding the problem so that a solution can be worked out accordingly. Today, instead of just highlighting problems, we provide solutions as well.

 

About Maham Tahir

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