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ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority’s (CDA) board on Thursday decided that private schools cannot be allowed in residential areas and that court directives in this regard will be implemented.

The CDA board met at the civic agency’s headquarters with Chairman Ishrat Ali in the chair to discuss various policy issues, including private schools in residential areas.

Sources said that during the meeting, it was decided that private schools cannot be allowed to operate in residential areas as CDA by-laws do not permit this.

However, the board decided that the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE), which the CDA has allotted a large number of school plots to, will be asked to explore the possibility of sharing the land already allotted for the establishment of private schools.

FDE will be asked to consider sharing plots it was allotted for educational institutions with private schools

It was also decided that the Planning Wing will explore the possibility of earmarking plots for private schools and auctioning them.

According to sources, the meeting also decided that private schools are to be fined for non-conforming use, like other violators are.

Show cause notices will be issued to all the school plot owners who have not constructed buildings for institutions for the cancellation of allotments.

Show cause notices will also be issued to those private school owners who have constructed buildings on the land they were allotted by CDA but which have not vacated residential premises, with the direction to vacate the residential properties immediately.

The board decided that all the plots which were allotted to private schools but have been cancelled may be disposed of through auction. The CDA board also decided that in the future, while planning new sectors, plots for educational institutions shall be earmarked for public and private educational institutions.

A board member said that the meeting decided to issue notices to all private housing schemes to ensure the construction of buildings on school plots.

When contacted, the incumbent member planning, who presented the summary, refused to share any information.

CDA has been conducting campaigns against non-conforming use of residential houses, in which private schools are operating. During the last few weeks, CDA sealed some 60 schools out of 367.

The civic agency’s board also approved the revision of rates and charges for buildings such as completion and scrutiny fee, fines and commercialisation charges.

The CDA has been collecting charges in accordance with the CDA regulations of 2005 and new rates were approved for the first time since.

Sources said the board discussed the issue of collecting rent from Safa Gold Mall for three illegally constructed storeys. It was decided that CDA will get input from the National Accountability Bureau and the civic agency’s Law Wing before taking a final decision.

The board approved the rescheduling of instalments of the people allotted plots in the Park Enclave-II housing scheme as it agreed it was the CDA’s failure for not starting and completing development work in a year’s time.

The civic agency was to complete development work by Jan 2017 but on ground so far, it does not even have possession of the land as it could not settle built up property claims with locals.

Published in Dawn, August 3rd, 2018