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ISLAMABAD: It has been almost five months after the city managers launched an operation against unauthorised high-rise buildings in E-11 and then halted the action halfway.

There are over 80 unauthorised buildings in the sector but the Capital Development Authority (CDA) sealed only 40 of them. The owners of 22 of the sealed buildings de-sealed the structures on their own, making a mockery of the law. So far, no action has been taken against any of the violators.

Despite a ban imposed by the CDA, construction of more high-rise buildings is still underway in the area which raises questions about the efficiency of the civic agency.

Following the illegal de-sealing, the CDA wrote to the police for registration of FIRs against the developers but there has been no action taken by the police either.

On the other hand, the developers say they have invested billions of rupees on the buildings and during their construction the CDA never stopped them. Now, all of a sudden, the civic agency has come into action.

“Yes, 22 developers illegally de-sealed their buildings and we have approached the police for registration of FIRs against them,” Director Building Control II Shafi Marwat told Dawn.

Talking about regularisation of the buildings, he said a policy was being devised to regulate those structures that met the criteria set by the CDA. At the moment, all the 84 high-rise buildings are unauthorised, he added.

During a visit to E-11, Dawn noticed several high-rise buildings are almost merged with each other, as there is no open space between them.

The director said the building control section in consultation with the planning wing was exploring different options to resolve the issue.

“We will finalise a policy to allow only those buildings which will meet our criteria and demolish the other buildings,” the official said.

A letter dated March 28 from the CDA to the Islamabad police stated that construction was in full swing in E-11 in blatant violation of rules and regulations. The letter addressed to the inspector general of the police (IGP) requested registration of FIRs against the builders.

The letter also said that the police had claimed that they contacted the director building control-II, the chairman CDA Secretariat, but got no cooperation.

“This is not based on facts. This office has been making all-out efforts to get FIRs registered against the violators whose list had already been forwarded to the police along with a request to get the construction activities stopped.”

When contacted, SHO Golra police station Abul Razaq said the police were bound to register FIRs on the request of any government organisation.

“If the CDA wants to get an FIR registered, its officials should come as a complainant. There is no delay on our part,” he said, adding it was not the job of the police o stop construction.

A developer said the CDA never stopped the construction work in the sector. “Even some officers of the CDA encouraged us saying private land in E-11 is out of CDA’s domain. But now, they came into action when the matter was highlighted in courts,” the developer said.

Published in Dawn, April 2nd, 2018