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ISLAMABAD: The second phase of the survey of religious seminaries in Islamabad has come up with a more shocking revelation: over 76pc of their buildings were built without permission from the civic body.

The first phase of the survey, recently conducted by the Islamabad capital territory (ICT) administration, had showed that a majority of the total 374 madressahs were not registered with any government organisation.

It may be noted that the number of primary, middle and secondary schools in the capital is 348. In the newly-established residential sectors of G-13 and G-14, there is not a single public school but some seminaries have already cropped up there.

The second phase of the survey, which was completed by the CDA on Monday, showed that 76pc of the seminaries had been built without any approved building plans.

The survey said out of the total 374 seminaries, 151 were operating in the sector areas and model towns of the capital. Out of the 151 in the urban areas, only 87 had been built as per approved building plans. The other seminaries located in the urban as well as rural areas were built without any design, approved building plan or taking any non-objection certificate (NOC) from the CDA.

The CDA never made any serious attempt to enforce its building by-laws and regulations in the rural areas of the city where most of the religious seminaries were set up without any approved building plan.

“Since we approve or disapprove building plans of seminaries in the city areas, our record shows that only 87 seminaries have the approved building plans,” said a senior officer of the CDA who requested not to be named.

He said it was shocking that out of the 374 seminaries only 87 had approved building plans.

“Now as the interior minister is monitoring the matter, we will enforce the by-laws across the capital. All the 374 seminaries would be asked to get their building plans approved.”

As per the CDA ordinance 1960, the civic agency is bound to regulate all buildings across the capital. However, the civic agency never moved beyond the sector areas, leaving unregulated and unplanned buildings thriving in the rural areas.

“We conducted the survey of the building plans of madressahs on the request of the ICT administration,” said Member Planning Asad Mehboob Kayani.

“My team work hard in the last three days and I think they submitted the survey to the ICT administration today or maybe they will submit it tomorrow.”

He said the CDA management had decided to implement the by-laws across the capital.

When contacted, Director Building Control Shafi Marwat said: “We have completed the survey but can’t share its details with the media.”

Published in Dawn, March 21st, 2017