Mansehra: Despite having been paid land prices and allocated plots, the district administration and the Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (Erra) have chosen to issue final notices on persons still occupying land in the New Balakot City housing project area.

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The decision was reached during a meeting here on Sunday, presided over by Mansehra deputy commissioner Dr Qasim Ali Khan. On the orders of Hazara division commissioner Mutahir Zeb, the meeting was called.

Officials from Erra and the Provincial Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (Perra) gave progress updates on the Rs. 12 billion mega housing project, which was begun in 2007 to rehabilitate 2005 earthquake survivors in Balakot’s red zone.

Around 330 inhabitants of Bakrial, where the project was begun, were presented with orders to evacuate the property four years ago, but they did not move out, according to an Erra spokesman. The people will be issued with final notifications soon, according to the official.

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“We have not only paid the land price to them, but we have also allocated each family two plots at the new housing project site,” says the official.

If the occupants did not evacuate the land willingly, the deputy commissioner ordered that an operation be begun. He also reminded the audience that 42 cases involving the price rise of land bought for the project were now ongoing in various courts. In a related event, the Oghi tehsil government closed 24 stores in several bazaars on Sunday for violating coronavirus standard operating standards.

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