District admin retrieves govt land 'occupied' by private company.

Byline: Aamir Yasin

RAWALPINDI -- The district administration retrieved 17 kanals on Adamjee Road from Varan Tours, which had allegedly occupied the Punjab Transport Authority's bus depot for 15 years.

The administration is planning to establish a field hospital in the area for Covid-19 patients because of the lack of empty space in the city and cantonment areas.

Varan Tours, which is owned by Uzma Gul, got the bus depot and the bus service franchise from the Punjab government in 2000 during the Musharraf regime.

The company has two bus depots at Chur Harpal on Peshawar Road and on Adamjee Road in Saddar, which were leased from the provincial government.

However, on Aug 19, 2018, the district administration retrieved 28 kanals from the company.

Land to be used for field hospital for Covid-19 patients

A senior administration official told Dawn that Varan Tours was given the exclusive right to run an efficient urban transport service through the insertion of section 69-A of the Motor Vehicle Ordinance in 1999.

An agreement was signed on Feb 23, 2000, under which the company was allotted 17 kanals in Saddar and 28 kanals at Chur Harpal for operating the bus service.

However, he said, the company terminated the agreement unilaterally on Feb 21, 2005, in violation of the terms of agreement and therefore simultaneously surrendered the right to retain the land.

'M/S Varan services owes a lot of payables at the agreed rate of Rs57,000 per kanal per annum since 2001. Not a single penny was paid by the Varan bus service since 2001,' he said.

'Since 2006, the Varan administration had been served with various show-cause notices to pay the arrears and vacate the land,' he said.

One of the two sites was retrieved through legal eviction procedures.

The official said the government had sought a list of land that can be used to facilitate the coronavirus patients. He said the government was provided the details about land available on a Saddar road.

The government gave the administration the green light and asked it to vacate the land from illegal possession. As a result, a joint team of administration and police took possession of the bus depot on the directives of Deputy Commissioner...

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