Gilgit, January 30: The Gilgit – Baltistan administration has been rocked by the news of a mega land-scam involving billions of rupees. Deputy Commissioner of Diamer, Sibtain Ahmed, has been transferred out of the district while Assistant Commissioner Zahid Mumtaz has been suspended and barred from travelling outside GB, along with other officials of the Revenue Department.
The accused were allegedly involved in creating fraudulent records for granting of awards in lieu of land likely to be submerged after the construction of Diamer Dam.
According to sources, as much as 486 kilometres stretch of barren land had reportedly been declared fertile agricultural land, to increase the compensation amount for the potential affectees.
Online news source, GBLEAKS.COM reports that some staff members had rung warning bells as early as November 2011 through a letter in which the then Diamer DC, Sibtain Ahemed, had been informed about irregularities in the compensation and land-measurements records. That “letter”, however, did not cause any change and no inquiry was conducted.
The Deputy Commissioner was, allegedly, also informed in advance about the political pressure exerted by influential people f Thor Nala and Chilas for recording of uncultivated land as “cultivated”.
On December 12 another report was filed by Zahid Mumtaz, who was also the Assistant Land Acquisition Collector of Diamer Bhasha Dam. The Additional Collector had, reportedly, mentioned two irregularities;
1. Conversion of Uncultivated Land to Cultivated (486 Kanal 1 Marla)
2. Fraudulent increase in the size of affected areas (up to 43 Kanal 3 Marla)
He had, reportedly, also mentioned corrective actions taken to nullify the irregularities, while maintaining that influential people were pressurizing him to stay silent.
Political leaders in GB have demanded that the scam should be investigated by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).