In a protracted ordeal spanning nearly three decades, retired professor Dr. Syed Zahir Shah, now 68, remains among thousands of government servants and retired officials awaiting possession of their allocated plots in the Regi Model Town (RMT) government housing scheme in Peshawar, a national daily has reported.
Dr. Shah’s dream of building his own home has been marred by a persistent land dispute, echoing the struggles of approximately 17,000 others in similar predicaments.
Established in the early nineties by the Peshawar Development Authority (PDA), the Regi Model Town project was intended to provide housing for government employees, judges, police, and various organizations. While payments were made in full by allottees across zones 1, 2, 3, and 4 amd 5, the PDA only partially developed zone 3 & 4, leaving zones 1, 2, and 5 untouched.
The heart of the issue lies in a land dispute between the PDA and the Koki Khel tribe, each asserting ownership of the contested land. Despite numerous meetings and discussions, a resolution remains elusive, leaving government employees and their families without possession of their plots, even though many have passed away waiting.
Former Chief Minister Mahmood Khan had initiated efforts to clear zones 1, 2, and 5 by April 2021, but illegal constructions persist. Commissioner Peshawar Zubair Khan remains optimistic that a resolution is on the horizon, emphasizing the need for mutual cooperation to settle the long-standing dispute.