With the inauguration of the Lowari tunnel demands of land price
CHITRAL: With the inauguration of the much-awaited Lowari
tunnel on 20th July last after its completion, the demand of land
has registered an exponential increase entailing its prices
A number of property dealers observed that the process of upward
jump of landed property had set right from the year 2005 when work
was started on the construction of the tunnel and the progression
is heading to its zenith when it stands completed which gives an
all weather route to the district.
Shaheen Shah, one of the property dealers told Chitral Times
that that the price of piece of land measuring one chukorum (a
local unit measuring 11664 square feet) in the core area of Chitral
town was about 8 lakh rupees before 2005 but it is almost twelve
times at present which is above Rs. 12 million.
He said that most of the prospective purchasers of land are
non-locals and basically it is they who have caused the phenomenal
increase of the prices as they competed with each other and
bid higher and higher for the piece of land.
“Such is the case with the demand and prices of the landed property
in different road-side villages of Chitral including the major
towns of Drosh, Booni, Garam Chashma, Mastuj and Ayun”, he said
adding that all these areas have recorded more than 10 times price
hike during the past twelve years.
He observed that more than 80 percent of his clients were
non-locals coming elsewhere from the parts of the country but
majority of them belonged to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa while the people of
Punjab ranked second.
Giving some reasons of the growing prices of land in Chitral, Abdul
Ghafar, another prorperity dealer, said that with the construction
of Lowari tunnel, there were bright prospects of its being
conversion into a business hub due to its connection with the
central Asian republics through the Wakhan corridors of
“The possibility of making Chitral the alternate route of
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has worked as catalyst to
raise the prices of landed property as the businessmen foresee a
bright future of the area where prices of landed property will
increase exponentially”, he said.
Giving yet another reason of the escalating prices of landed
property here, he said that the people in the upper and remote
parts of Chitral prefer to settle here to avail the civic amenities
here and they rush here as and when they become able to afford it.
The local people are apprehensive of the situation and social
awareness is in the formation process to preach the local people
not to sell their landed property to the non-locals but it is yet
to get momentum of popularity.
MPA from Chitral, Syed Sardar Hussain Shah said that as per
constitution of the land, no person can be debarred from purchasing
a moveable and immoveable property in any part of the country
living with the ambit of law and as such the process of purchase of
land by the non-locals in Chitral cannot be stopped by law.
He said that the land owners cannot resist the temptation of
exorbitant prices being offered by the purchasers and many efforts
of the local people have ended in failure to restrain him from
selling his land.
Mr. Shah said that if a popular movement is launched like the one
in Hunza of Gilgit-Baltistan, the trend of selling of land can be
arrested effectively where a social taboo has been imposed on this
practice and no outsider can purchase land although he can take it
on rent only for a limited period.
He was of the view that local legislation by the local government
regarding the utilization of land which can put in place a better
system governing the sale and leasing of land in the prospective