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  NHA Work on 17 Road Infrastructure Projects is continuing in backward Areas
Posted by: LRE-Azan - 01-17-2018 05:24 PM - No Replies

ISLAMABAD: The National Highway Authority (NHA) has been striving to construct network of highways and motorways in less-developed areas of the country with special focus on Balochistan. In Balochistan, work on 17 road infrastructure projects is continuing in backward areas to bring them on a par with the developed ones, an official of NHA told APP on Sunday.

The NHA official said that for dualisation of 408km Khuzdar-Chaman section of N-25, including rehabilitation of existing Khuzdar-Kalat section and land acquisition, Rs2 billion have been earmarked in the current fiscal year under Public Sector Development Programme.

For dualisation of 210km Yarik-Mughalkot-Zhob section of N-50 CPEC western alignment, including Zhob bypass and land acquisition, Rs5 billion have been set aside, he said.

For 106km Basima-Khuzdar Highway Rs1,500 million have been allocated in the present fiscal, he said, adding that Rs4 billion have been earmarked for Bella-Awaran-Hoshab Road.

For construction of black top road Yakmach-Kharan highway Rs3 billion have been allocated while for construction of 80km road from Harnai to Sanjavi Rs1 billion have been set aside, he informed.

He said Rs1500 million have been earmarked for 200km Gwadar-Turbat-Hoshab section of Gwadar-Rattodero while for improvement and widening of balance work of 51km Kararo Wad section of N-25, Rs1 billion have been allocated.

He said that for 247km Kalat-Quetta- Chaman section of N-25 Rs500 million have been earmarked

For National Highway Development Sector Improvement Programme a total of Rs1.25 billion have been allocated and Qila Saifullah-Loralai-Wagum Rud section of N-70 is being rehabilitated under this programme.

He said that Rs500 million have been allocated for rehabilitation and improvement of 120km Quetta-Dhadhar section of N-65 whereas Rs1 billion has also been earmarked for 41km Sanan-Aab-e-Gum connecting road between Sibbi and Kachhi district.

The official said that Rs1 billion has also been earmarked for widening and improvement of 459km Hoshab-Nag-Basima-Surab section of N-85.

He said that Rs1.25 billion has been allocated for construction of 81km Zhob-Mughalkot section of N-50. Moreover, Rs5 billion has been earmarked for Zhob to Kuchlak road, including land acquisition and Nokundi-Musakhel-Panjgoor road, he said.

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  300MW Plant In Gwadar will supply Free Electricity To Aarea issued
Posted by: LRE-Azan - 01-17-2018 05:05 PM - No Replies

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QUETTA: Balochistan Environment Secretary Ghulam Muhammad Sabir has said that provincial authorities have issued a no-objection certificate for a 300MW coal-based power plant in Gwadar on the condition that electricity from the plant will be supplied free of charge to household consumers of the area.

He was speaking at a public hearing held in the provincial capital to discuss the environment impact assessment (EIA) report of the new 300MW imported coal-based power plant in Gwadar.

The hearing was attended, among others, by Balochistan Environmental Protection Agency (Bepa) director general retired Captain Muhammad Tariq, representatives of the CIHC Pak Power Company Ltd, experts of developmental and environmental affairs, NGOs and chairman of the municipal committee of Gwadar district.

A detailed review of the EIA report was presented by a consultant of the project, Environmental Management Consultants (EMC) Pakistan

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  GIEDA had Completely Ignored the Rules in allotting Commercial & Industrial plots
Posted by: LRE-Azan - 01-03-2018 04:43 PM - No Replies

Pervasive corruption in this country has not spared even the Gwadar development project, crown jewel of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, even though it is at the centre of national attention. According to a press statement issued the other day by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman, Justice Javed Iqbal, investigations show the Gwadar Industrial Estate Development Authority had completely ignored the rules in allotting commercial and industrial plots in the port city, distributing them among favourites and relatives with the help of facilitators (revenue authority and provincial government officials). In so doing, notes the statement, applications of eligible industrial and other investors were rejected.

Distressing as this information is, it comes as no surprise. It has been a while when press reports revealed that some 12,000 acres of state land were illegally allotted to certain individuals with the support of politically influential people and in connivance of revenue officials. Illegality of the activity was challenged in the relevant forum and the land was restored to the government. Still, some of the beneficiaries of this largesse wouldn't give up. They approached the revenue authorities and managed to grab back 3,167 acres of state land from a helpful senior member of the Revenue Board. The giveaway, once again, was challenged and suspended by the Board sitting in full strength, and later the suspension was upheld by the High Court. The affair is full of deceit and fraud. As the court remarked "nobody knows how the settled land owned by the state has been transferred to the private sector that too for peanuts". It also made the unsurprising observation that "the provincial government and the Board of Revenue cannot be absolved of their responsibility in this regard."

Someone has to pay a price for such corrupt practices; in this case, probably the entire country. For these illegal allotments can only discourage genuine investors, adversely impacting the development of various projects associated with the new port. The NAB chairman's decision to pursue the case cannot be welcomed enough. He has vowed to deal with an iron hand the corrupt, he said, are out to jeopardize economic progress of Gwadar. Hopefully, all those involved in the scam will finally be brought to account, putting a complete stop to this illegal and unfair practice. Aside from dishonest distribution of state lands, there is also the issue of land acquisitions from local people at cheap rates. Attention should be paid to it. Once the development process picks up speed, the prices will rise, causing heartburn among not only those affected in Gwadar but in all of Balochistan where a sense of deprivation is already very high. The city planners need to come up with price regulations before it is too late.

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  Illegal occupation of a Vast Piece of Land in Zone-III Near to Sector D-12 of the Cap
Posted by: LRE-Azan - 11-07-2017 04:47 PM - No Replies

ISLAMABAD - The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has failed to take action against what it considers illegal occupation of a vast piece of land in Zone-III near to sector D-12 of the capital. The Supreme Court had directed the CDAto retrieve the land from illegal occupation of locals, including some influential of the capital city, who have connections with a political party.

Some days back, the officials of the Enforcement Directorate and other high officials visited the area with the purpose to initiate operation to retrieve the land but they had to face stiff resistance from the occupants, according to the CDAofficials who were part of the anti-encroachment team. An officials told The Nation on condition of not to be named that the occupants did not even allow the CDAstaff to start the operation. “They (CDA officials) were abused verbally by the locals before they were forced to pack up and leave the scene,” the official said, adding the activity was just a compromised show to register efficiency.

In August 2014, then Chairman CDA , Maroof Afzal had ordered anti-encroachment operation against the illegal structures and other encroachments in violation of CDA Zoning Regulations. Chairman CDA had said that the operation against the illegal and unauthorised farmhouses and housing societies in the area would continue, which have been established against the CDA Zoning Regulations and without the permission of CDA in the surrounding of Margalla Avenue and Shah Allah Ditta areas of Sector D-12. During the operation, the anti-encroachment team of CDA permanently closed and dismantled the unauthorised approach roads, which lead towards the illegally established housing societies and farmhouses in Pind Sangriyal, adjacent to Sector D-12. The occupants again started illegal structures, unauthorised approach roads in gross violation of Building Bylaws and Zoning Regulations. While such structures, illegally erected by the people in Zone-III are absolutely against the Zoning Regulations of CDA . CDA had then also warned the violators and encroachers against the illegal construction activities in the surroundings of Margalla Avenue and Shah Allah Ditta areas and asked them to abide by the CDA Building Bylaws and Zoning Regulations in Zone-III but all in vain. CDA had also warned the people to refrain from construction activities in Margalla Hills National Park (MHNP) as well as around Margalla Avenue and Zone-III. However, neither the violators stopped nor the CDA took any major action against them since.

In 2016, the Islamabad Citizens’ Forum had also urged the city’s managers to protect the Margalla Hills from encroachers. The forum had called the press conference in support of a CDA operation against an illegal housing society by the name of North Ridge in Shah Allah Ditta during which, the Authority claimed it retrieved 100 kanals of land. The CDA had claimed that in its operation, it had retrieved 100 kanals of forest land adjacent to D-12 from an illegal housing society. The Islamabad chapter of the Jamaat-i-Islami and some of the locals had alleged that the CDA conducted the operation because its Member (Administration) is involved in property business in the area and was forcing them to sell him their lands for a nominal price. The Member was later replaced. The JI leaders also leveled allegations against the Member (Administration) including misuse of authority and accumulation of wealth beyond unknown sources but the NAB exonerated him of all the charges. On the other hand, the stance of the CDAremained unchanged. CDA still considers the occupation by the locals and construction activity in the area as illegal and unauthorized. NAB had recommended that CDA takes immediate steps by initiating the land acquisition proceedings in Zone III to protect the Margalla Hills National Park.

According to a National Accountability Bureau report, seven illegal housing societies are operating on private land in Zone III of Margalla Hills, where housing societies are not allowed to operate. Private builders allegedly backed by some influential have started carving out plots on about 3,000 kanals of state land in the Sri Saral village falling in the National Park area on the foot of Margalla Hills. The land, a few hundred feet north of Sector D-12, was acquired by the CDA in 1969 and declared as the National Park area.

The construction activity at the national park area had started during the previous government but the civic agency could not stop it because the people involved in it were backed by influential personalities of the capital. Private developers have been bulldozing the hills in the north of D-12 and carving out plots. During the last three years, residents of the areas had filed a number of complaints with the CDAseeking action against the land mafia though the CDA failed to stop the illegal activity. It may be recalled that in July 2002, the CDA conducted an operation in Sri Saral, sector D-12, against illegal constructions that left two villagers dead and more than 60 injured.

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  Chinese govt rolls out scholarships for Pakistani students
Posted by: LRE-Azan - 11-07-2017 03:54 PM - No Replies

ZHENGZHOU: The Chinese government is offering preferential scholarships for Pakistani students as a part of its One Belt and One Road (OBOR) initiative and students are encouraged to apply.

These remarks were made by Sias International University (SIU) President Dr Sikun Chen as he briefed a Pakistani media delegation visiting Henan province on Saturday.

Dr Chen said they encouraged students from all OBOR countries to benefit from the scholarship scheme.

“Sixty per cent of awardees shall be from OBOR member states as per the directives of the Chinese government,” he added.

He informed the delegation that 27,000 students, including 300 international academia from 25 countries are currently enrolled in the SIU.

Dr Chen said two Pakistani students had already completed their degrees at the educational institute in this year.The university employs over 1,500 full-time faculty members which includes 135 full-time foreign teachers and also has the highest foreign faculty to student ratio in China.

It offers degrees in nine disciplines which include liberal arts, science, engineering, economics, management, medicine, law, education and performing arts.

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  Chinese Ambassador Engrossed To Invest In Automobiles Accessories
Posted by: LRE-Azan - 11-07-2017 03:50 PM - No Replies

8-member Chinese delegation from Sichuan province Hebei Chamber of Commerce has arrived in Pakistan on invitation of Mr. S.M Naveed, President Pak- China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI) to review joint venture opportunities in the fields of Automobiles innovative accessories, Town Planning and vertical buildings infrastructure. Delegation was manly comprised of Mr. Gaoqiang, Mr. Xu Yingliang, Mr. Cao Wei, Mr. Yang Yongang and Mr. Cao Zaiqiang.

President PCJCCI, Mr. S.M Naveed and Vice President Rana Mehmood Iqbal briefed the delegation regarding the demand of innovative energy efficient automobiles, car accessories and vertical buildings in Pakistan. S.M. Naveed told that the the automotive industry in Pakistan is the one of the fastest growing industries of the country, accounting for 4% of Pakistan’s GDP and employing a workforce of over 1,800,000 people. With the growing demand of automobiles, demand for the car accessories has also increased, he said.

The head of delegation, Mr. Gaoqiang said that we want to venture with Pakistan in mechanical parts and accessories, Electric motor parts and accessories and Electronic parts and accessories. According to Mr. Gaoqiang, China has extensive manufacturing facilities that could be relocated to Pakistan based on the demand of accessories. He said that China is eager to make a massive investment in the Pakistani auto-sector where the vehicle’s quality and price will boost the competitiveness in the market. The process of putting the plant together is expected to be completed in 2 to 3 years.

S.M Naveed informed the delegates about the automotive policy 2016-2021, according to which, new investors under the category ‘A’ shall be eligible for the Duty-free import of plant and machinery on a one-time basis, Concessional rate of custom duty @ 10 percent on non- localized parts and @ 25 percent on localized parts for a period of five years for the manufacturing of Cars and LCVs, eligible to import 100 vehicle at 50 percent of the prevailing duty for test marketing of the project, told S.M Naveed.

Chinese Delegates further shared their plan for an exclusive China Town in Lahore to reside Chinese experts and investors, he said and hoped that after the completion of that model China town, the design will be replicated for the local citizen as well.

Adding to this, Rana Mehmood Iqbal told the delegates that PCJCCI has already been taking initiatives for the formation of model China Town that could attract more investment and promote ventures in real estate and construction sector. He said that we have to bring the unique Chinese vertical building designs before the people to create a need and demand. When people will see something visible, they will be automatically attracted, added Rana Mehmood.

Both parties were optimistic towards joint ventures between China and Pakistan in the fields of automobiles accessories, building infrastructure and town planning. The meeting ended with serious reviews for setting up manufacturing concerns of car accessories and Development of Pak-China joint housing schemes.

It was notable that for a resource-constrained Pakistan, an investment of $62 billion in the projects under the umbrella of CPEC, presents the ideal platform to nullify the effects of past missed opportunities and embark on a path of sustained economic growth.

Source: PCJCCI Press Release

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  Govt of Punjab Spending Billions of Rupees in Development of Sialkot Road Projects
Posted by: LRE-Azan - 11-06-2017 05:08 PM - No Replies

SIALKOT: The Punjab government is spending billions of rupees on various road infrastructure projects here.

Addressing a meeting of the District Development Committee held here on Sunday, Deputy Commissioner Dr Farrukh Naveed said Rs961 million was being spent on a grand project of Shahbaz Sharif Flyover at the congested China Chowk, Rs935 million on dualisation of Sialkot-Eimanabad road, Rs1 billion on reconstruction of main Daska-Pasrur road and Rs961 million on dualisation/reconstruction of Pasrur-Narowal road.

He further said 83 per cent work on Satrah-Pasrur-Gujranwala road was complete at Rs1.2 billion, while 65pc work on main Daska-Sambrial road was complete at Rs1.3 billion.

Dr Naveed told the meeting that a 37km-long carpeted road would be constructed by the end of December in rural areas of the district with Rs569 million under the Punjab CM’s Rural Areas Roads Development Programme. He also claimed that 552 development schemes worth Rs1.5 billion would be completed by the end of this month and 547 others by Dec 31.

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  Housing ministry allocates 70 plots against constitutional quotas
Posted by: LRE-Azan - 11-06-2017 04:37 PM - No Replies

]ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Housing and Works has allocated as many as 70 plots against constitutional quotas in sectors F-14 and 15 under the Federal Government Employees Housing Foundation (FGEHF), while all 46 applicants for this category have been issued consent letters.

According to an official of the ministry, the availability of balance plots would be determined as and when the exact plot positions of the scheme were conveyed to the ministry by the quarters concerned. He said the issue of allotment of plots would be decided upon receipt of final plot position after due adjustment within various quotas and with the approval of a competent authority.

To a question, he said the ministry would start new housing schemes in the federal capital, including Thaliyan Housing Scheme on M-2 motorway interchange, to overcome shortage of housing units in the city.

He said the FGEHF had entered into a joint venture agreement with M/s KS Developers and Builders (Pvt) Ltd in Mouza Moorat, Mouza Chohan and Mandowal on M-2 motorway near Thaliyan interchange, for development of housing schemes on land measuring 7,000 to 10,000 kanals.

To another question, the official said that no fresh allotments had been made by the ministry on the basis of standard rent since 2013.

The official said that the Supreme Court had also given a verdict that disallowed the allotment of any house on standard rent. “We are strictly following the instructions of the Supreme Court in this connection,” he added.

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  Punjab Government has Allocated Rs 300 Million for Minority Development Fund
Posted by: LRE-Azan - 11-06-2017 03:06 PM - No Replies

The Punjab government has allocated Rs 300 million for Minority Development Fund for upgradation of minority's worships places, minority's communities, graveyards, roads & welfare institutions in the province. These funds would be spent by the minority's members in their respective areas. This was stated by Provincial Minister Planning & Development Malik Nadeem Kamran while chairing a meeting of the Minority Development Funds Committee, here on Thursday.

Provincial Minister for Human Rights and Minority Affairs Tahir Khalil Sindhu, Provincial Secretary Human Rights Asim Iqbal, Parliamentary Secretary Tariq Masih, Minority Members Provincial Assembly Punjab Shehzad Munshi, Shakeel, Sardar Singh Rora, Zulfiqar Ghauri, Juice Jules, and representative of Finance Department & other relevant officials attended the meeting.

Addressing the meeting, Malik Nadeem Kamran said that more than Rs 300 million would be spent on development schemes of minorities' areas. In this connection, departmental summary for releasing development funds is being initiated for final approval of the Chief Minister.

He requested the minority members to monitor development activities in their respective areas. In the meeting, Provincial Minister Human Rights Tahir Khalil Sindhu also highlighted the issues of minority communities while Provincial Secretary Human Rights Asim Iqbal gave a detailed briefing on the Minority Development Package.

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  NHC Approves Rs 1,059.610 billion For Development of Highways and Motorways
Posted by: LRE-Azan - 11-06-2017 02:03 PM - No Replies

The National Highway Council (NHC) on Thursday approved next five-year plan (2018-2023) and according to which new highways and motorways schemes worth Rs 1.059 trillion would be carried out in the country, it is learnt. Official sources revealed to that Federal Minister for Communications Hafiz Abdul Karim presided over the meeting of NHC. Minister of State for Communications Muhammad Junaid Chaudhry, secretary communications, chairman National Highway Authority and other members of the council participated in the meeting.

The five-year plan was earlier approved by the NHA Executive Board and presented in the NHC meeting for final approval on Thursday. The total estimated cost of schemes included in the five-year plan (2013-18) and to be completed in next five-year plan (2018-23) is Rs 1,396.860 billion leaving a throw-forward amount of Rs 526.257 billion. Estimated cost of the new schemes proposed for next five-year plan (2018-23) is Rs 1,059.610 billion.

The outcome after completion of both the plans in terms of maintenance, rehabilitation/ improvement and construction of highways, expressway, motorways, tunnels, bridges is given as construction of highways, 5,196km, expressways, 1,300km motorways, 1,964km, major bridges, 36, tunnels, 7, and rehabilitation/improvement, 4,903km.

The meeting was further informed that under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) around Rs 320 billion were allocated for the year 2017-18. The total number of projects is 85 which are currently under various phases of execution and included 72 ongoing and 13 new projects. In addition, Rs 2.46 billion were allocated as maintenance grant for the annual maintenance of national highways including Rs 0.25 billion for KKH Thakot-Kunjerab road and Rs 0.075 billion for KKH-Skardu road.

Chairman NHA Shahid Ashraf Tarar informed the meeting that the organization has been able to steadily increase its revenue share to around Rs 25 billion over the last three years, thanks to the introduction of financial and administrative reforms.

He said the PSDP allocation of NHA had increased tremendously over the last few years which can be assessed easily from the fact that it stood at Rs 63 billion in 2013-14 but rose to Rs 320 billion in 2017-18.

He said this reflected the increasing confidence of the federal government in NHA's ability regarding the most appropriate utilization of the allocated funds. He said NHA is currently executing projects worth over Rs 1,400 billion scattered in all parts of the country. He said a vast network of motorways is being established under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor that upon completion in next two years, will take the overall motorway length in Pakistan to over 2400km.

The council also approved the process of reform and restructuring initiated at National Highway Authority under which power has been decentralized from the headquarter to the four main zones of Central (Punjab), North (KPK), West (Balochistan) and South (Sindh), each headed by a member (engr). The chairman NHA informed the meeting that the prime objective of the restructuring process is to enhance the institutional capacity to ensure the efficient implementation and monitoring of the development projects.

The council also discussed in detail the problem of overloading and the resulting damage it is doing to the road network. The chairman informed the meeting that major part of the development activity will be completed in the next five years with the completion of all the ongoing and planned projects. It is, therefore, necessary to take immediate steps to overcome the problem of overloading to keep the highways and motorways in safe condition. The council decided to form a steering committee at the ministry to review the efforts already made in this regard and to chalk out a future course of action. The committee would include representatives from Ministry of Communications, National Highway Authority and Motorway Police, besides private sector experts, to hold negotiations with all the stakeholders and ensure the implementation of National Highway Safety Ordinance-2000.

The council also approved the proposal for the time-scale promotion of NHA employees, enhancement in rental ceiling for low-paid employees to up to Rs 10,000 and admissibility of utility allowance. The National Highway Council, unanimously, acknowledged the services of the outgoing chairman and his role in the successful and in time completion of mega road projects initiated in the last four years.

The federal minister, in his concluding remarks, said that without chairman NHA's dynamic leadership, management skills, honesty and hard work, the giant task of successfully executing the historic motorway network could not have been possible.

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