KABUL: Second Vice-President Mohammad Karim Khalili on Tuesday expressed concern over increasing land-grab cases and construction of buildings by warlords in violation of rules, asking the departments concerned to take stern action to stop the practice. Addressing a conference on urban development in Kabul, Khalili warned Afghanistan’s cities would remain undeveloped if stringent action was not initiated against the powerful land mafia that hindered the implementation of the urban master plan.
The government had to take concrete measures to control the land mafia, Khalili told the two-day conference, which is attended by 33 mayors and jointly organised by the Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLOG) and the Ministry of Urban and Development. Fifty percent of buildings and township across the country have been built by warlords in disregard of the relevant rules, the Kabul Municipality says.
Khalili identified heaps of garbage, the growing number of vehicles and environmental pollution in major cities, especially in Kabul, as another problem facing a nation that remained deprived of basic civic services.
IDLOG Director Abdul Khaliq Farahi confirmed that Afghanistan was lagging behind its neighbours in terms of the implementation of master plans due to decades of war.
Minister of Urban Development Hassan Abdulhai stressed the need for urban planning. The enforcement of the ministry’s development programme had been delayed because of interference from certain individuals and the government’s indifferenc

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