Govt, residents dispute land ownership
GHAZNI CITY (Pajhwok): Powerful individuals have encroached on large parts of a township the government has devoted to returning families in southern Ghazni province, officials claimed on Tuesday.
Mohammad Jamil Syedi, the refugee affairs department head, told Pajhwok Afghan News hundreds of acres of land had been occupied by powerful individuals in the township near Qalati area, about five kilometres south of Ghazni City.
He claimed the illegal occupants had sold some pieces of the land in their possession and had the intention to sell the rest if the government did not take any notice.
Syedi said the land which belonged to his department had been allotted for the construction of homes for families returning from neighbouring countries.
He said so far 7,750 deserving families had been distributed plots with documents in the township, calling on the beneficiaries to start constructing homes at the earliest.
He also said he had discussed with the officials concerned the construction of a road connecting the township with the road leading to the Islamic Culture Centre.
On the other hand, residents of the Qatali area claim they have ownership rights over the land given to the residential scheme.
An area resident, who possess five acres of land in the township, told Pajhwok on condition of anonymity that the land had been transferred into his family’s name 20 years ago.
He said there were thousands of acres of government’s land on which powerful individuals had built marketplaces, but the government would take no action.
Meanwhile, a Maqur district resident, Habibullah, who had purchased a piece of land near the Qalati area, said when he was purchasing the land, its sellers told him that the documents had no legal problem.
“The sellers told me on the day one that they had no dispute with the government over the land, but now government officials say the land belongs to the government.”
Mohammad Wali, another buyer hailing from Qarah Bagh district, said he purchased a plot in the township two years ago, but could not build a house on it.
“The sellers have given me the ownership documents, but I can’t construct a house because of the government’s claim,” he said.
The governor’s spokesman, Shafique Nang, confirmed a number of Qalati residents had occupied land in the township and had sold to others.
“The land belongs to the government. The Urban Development Ministry has prepared the township’s design, which has been approved.”
Nang said the local residents had no right over the land, saying the governor’s house had decided to resolve the issue through a government commission.
He asked people not to buy land in the township because it would be retaken from them.
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