ISLAMABAD, June 28: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has suspended its six officials for allowing unauthorised construction at Park Towers some ten years back.
It took the CDA almost ten years to take much needed disciplinary action against the negligent officials, who then worked either in the enforcement directorate or were part of the building control section.
The building control section approves maps for the buildings constructed in Islamabad while enforcement directorate assists the authority in enforcing its building regulations.
According to documents available with Dawn, the PAC in its meeting on May 2012 had directed to conduct a fact-finding inquiry into the negligence of the CDA officers due to which unauthorised construction was made over a cancelled plot.
The documents said: “A plot, measuring 2.31 acres in F-10 Markaz, was allotted to MS Minawa (now Park Towers) in August 1992 at a cost of Rs51.047 million for construction of 10-storey luxury building.
“The allottee had paid only Rs19.035 million and failed to remit balance amount as per payment schedule.
“The CDA board in its meeting on November 1998 decided to cancel the allotment of the site and take over the possession of the non-used portion of the site. The allotment of the plot was cancelled on June 22, 1999.”
A CDA official while talking to Dawn said: “The owner of the Park Towers started its construction in 1994 and completed the structure of the building ground plus nine-storey in 1999.
“When the disputes emerged between the CDA and the Park Towers owners the enforcement directorate took the possession as per the documents available with the building control section,” claimed the CDA official.
The CDA document revealed that “ex-allottee filed civil petitions in the court of senior civil judge of the capital, Lahore High Court and Islamabad High Court.”
The official added: “The owner of the Park Tower approached the court in 1999.”
“The building is not in possession of the CDA nor are the residents paying any rent to the CDA,” claimed the official.
Despite multiple attempts the media shy CDA Chairman Farkhand Iqbal did not respond to clarify his department’s position and that Park Towers are not in possession of the CDA rather with its main owner(s).
The documents of the CDA added the owner went into litigation against the CDA at a time when the building was in possession of the enforcement directorate.
The owner, according to the report, had illegally constructed the basement, three-storey additional block on the western side, construction of servant quarters in the basement and additional construction of 11th floor on one block on the western and southern side of the building (Park Towers).
The civic authority in its report said that a notice issued by the building control to the ex-allottee on Feb 2003 showed that construction was carried out during the period of 1999-2002.
The officers of the enforcement directorate, CDA who were on duty during the period 1999-2002 were part of this unauthorised construction, as per the CDA report.
The report highlighted that “building control directorate was not vigilant and proactive in the observance of building regulations.”
According to an internal suspension order, copy of which was available with Dawn, “In pursuance of approval of the chairman following officers are suspended:
Deputy director general building control Ghulam Murtaza Malik, director sanitation captain (retired) Faiz Mohammad, director roads (south) Ali Murad, assistant director building Mohammad Kaleem.”In its suspension order, the CDA management maintained that officials including Syed Mustafain Kazmi and Naeem Iqbal Durrani both grade 20 officials should also be suspended since both are on deputation and working with the federal government and under administrative control of secretary cabinet Nargis Sethi.
The authority has also sent its recommendations to the Chief Commissioner Islamabad, Tariq Pirzada for suspension of Chauhdry Mohammad Ali, a senior officer of Islamabad Capital Territory administration.
The report highlighted that the matter is in civil and high courts and being fought by the owner of Park Tower against the CDA.