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CDA issues new procedure to regulate buildings in rural areas

Amid strong opposition from the local government representatives, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) issued a new procedure to regulate buildings and unacquired land aimed at checking unauthorised constructions in the rural areas.

The civic agency took the step after the mushroom growth of buildings in Zone II, IV and V. The CDA on Friday issued its new policy guideline to enforce the building by-laws on private and unacquired land, including Sector E-11.

A few months ago, the civic agency had decided to enforce its building by-laws across the capital. In the past, the CDA only focused on the urban areas.

Owners of commercial buildings would have to mortgage 10pc of the premises with CDA until a completion certificate is issued

The CDA has already requested the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines (SNGPL) and the Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco) not to give connections to builders without a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the CDA. This step has, however, attracted a severe criticism from the ruling PML-N as well as the opposition PTI and the PPP.

Both the treasury and the opposition members of the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) spoke against the move in a number of sessions, saying the CDA had no right to enforce its building by-laws on private land where it was not providing any municipal facility.

However, the CDA planning wing issued the new standard operating procedure (SOP) to deal with the matter. The CDA said it was mandated to regulate buildings in entire Islamabad.

“As per the CDA ordinance, we are responsible for regulating buildings in entire Islamabad but, unfortunately, in the past the CDA never paid any attention to regulating buildings in the rural areas and on unacquired land. As a result, today Islamabad is dotted with hundreds of unauthorised buildings,” said Director Building Control Section Shafi Marwat.

He said as per the new guideline, citizens who wanted to construct commercial buildings would have to mortgage 10pc of the leasable or salable portion of the building with the CDA which would be released after the issuance of a completion certificate from the civic agency.

The owners of unacquired land (for residential and commercial buildings) will also have to submit the architectural and structural designs of the building, a certificate of vetting by the consultant in case of a commercial building, firefighting plan, copies of land documents showing ownership and evidence of possession and other formalities.

Interestingly, in the new procedure the CDA did not mention the unacquired H-13 sector where massive unauthorised construction has already taken place.

When contacted, Member Planning Asad Mehboob Kayani told Dawn that the civic agency was bound to regulate all buildings in Islamabad. “In the preamble of CDA’s regulations, it is clearly mentioned that the rules are applicable to entire Islamabad. But successive managements never focused on unacquired land,” he said.

“The SOP is for new constructions. We will consult the federal government about a solution to the unauthorised constructions which have already taken place.”

Asked about H-13, he said another policy was being prepared to deal with the sector separately. The sector is yet to be acquired for development. “I do agree there is an opposition from the local government representatives but we are not going to disturb old constructions rather trying to stop new unauthorised buildings,” he said.

Abbasi, Kashif. CDA issues new procedure to regulate buildings in rural areas. Dawn, October 16, 2017.

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