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ISLAMABAD: A new survey conducted by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) has detected 340 illegal commercial buildings from Soan River Bridge to the Grand Trunk G.T. Road in Rawat.

These buildings were constructed without any permission from the CDA. But sources said the civic agency never implemented its building by-laws outside the sector area resulting in the mushroom growth of unauthorised buildings.

The new survey showed that in Zone V, from Soan Bridge to the G.T. Road, there were 340 illegally constructed buildings, including 74 under construction. In March 2017, the then CDA Chairman Sheikh Anser Aziz had decided to enforce the building by-laws across the capital in accordance with the CDA Ordinance 1960.

But so far there is no serious development on the initiative. Though the CDA took action against over 30 buildings in E-11 in November, the sources said, a large number of operators of these buildings in alleged connivance with CDA officials got the structures de-sealed. After launching an operation in E-11, the CDA left the drive halfway before moving towards B-17 where it sealed a few buildings and then stopped the move.

These structures, including 74 under construction, are located between Soan River Bridge and G.T. Road in Rawat, says survey

“During the survey, 340 unauthorised buildings were detected from Soan Bridge to G.T. Road. We have decided to serve notices on their operators to get completion certificates from the CDA otherwise we will seal the illegal buildings,” said Director Building Control Faisal Naeem.

He said the owners of the 74 under-construction buildings would be served notices to immediately stop the work while the owners of the buildings which had been completed would be asked to get completion certificates from the CDA,” the official said.

Illegal commercial buildings have also been constructed in various parts of the capital, including E-11 and H-13, Park Road, Banigala, Bhara Kahu and Lehtrar Road. The CDA last year had linked the construction of new commercial buildings and houses anywhere in Islamabad with the issuance of NOCs. It had also directed the utility companies not to provide electricity and gas connections to any new building unless its owner gets the NOC from the civic agency.

However, people in the rural areas have opposed the CDA move saying since the civic agency did not provide any municipal services to them it had no mandate to impose such regulations in the area.

Published in Dawn, January 5th, 2018