Pajhwok Afghan News

Logar municipality starts demolishing illegal houses

PUL-I-ALAM (Pajhwok): The municipality on Sunday embarked on demolishing residential buildings illegally constructed on usurped public land in the capital of central Logar province.

The Pul-i-Alam municipality says some figures had usurped hundreds of acres of land on Mir Abdal Mountain hillsides and sold to other people in 2,000 plots, on which people have constructed residential buildings.

Nasir Ahmad Lalizai, the Pul-i-Alam mayor, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the land had been usurped by a land mafia group and powerful figures and then arbitrary built houses on it.

When municipality officers tried to stop them from their illegal constructions, the land grabbers threatened them with death, he said.

“Destruction of illegal constructions in the city has been approved in a meeting at the governor’s house,” he said.

Lalizai said the decision to raze illegal buildings was jointly made by the governor, the provincial council and security organs. Those involved in the land grabbing would be brought to justice.

The grabbed land in the city was part of recreational and development schemes in Pul-i-Alam but land grabbers constructed buildings on them overnight, he said.

He added a joint commission involving the governor, the provincial council and some other officials had been created to identify grabbed lands and illegal buildings.

He said buildings constructed illegally or lacking legal ownership documents have been identified and the commission has decided to demolish them.

Lalezai said those living in the illegal structures had been ordered to vacate the buildings within three days otherwise the municipality on its own would take action.

A resident of Pul-i-Alam, Sayed Toryali, criticized the municipality and said it had failed to discharge its responsibilities properly over the last few years.

He said large swaths of land had been grabbed in many parts of the city before buildings were constructed on them illegally.

Logar police spokesman Shapor Ahmadzai said police were ready to cooperate with the municipality in erasing illegal structures on grabbed lands.

He said they last week destroyed buildings identified to them by the municipality.

The Logar governor’s house says fighting against land grabbing remains its priority.

Provincial council head Hasibullah Stanikzai also said that Pul-i-Alam municipality did not perform its duty properly over the last many years.

The governor’s house and the municipality should take serious steps against land grabbing, he added.

mds/ma

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