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ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has decided to propose rules for property owners in Islamabad, 58 years after the civic agency was formed.

The CDA’s Human Resource Development Directorate on Aug 30 notified an eight-member committee which will propose the conversion of CDA’s building regulations of 1963 and 2005 into rules.

The committee will also look into converting Islamabad Capital Territory’s land disposal regulations into rules, will convert zoning regulations to rules and prose items — which are less important and fluctuating in nature — into regulations.

The committee is headed by CDA member Khushal Khan, and other members include the directors generals of law and services, deputy financial advisor, director law, director master plan, director building control-III and director human resource development.

Eight-member committee to propose conversion of CDA building regulations 1963, 2005 into rules

The proposed rules will be sent to the federal government for final approval.

The Estate Wing of the civic agency, which deals with land and property in the capital city, still lacks proper rules and deals with property cases on the basis of regulations and precedent set by the CDA board.

However, the CDA board has made many blunders in the past, such as changing clinic plots into commercial ones.

CDA officials told Dawn that ambiguity in CDA’s regulations has provided room for corruption and that officials use the regulations to favour whomever they want or to not even entertain an application.

“Our rules should be notified and subsequently displayed in various offices and on websites for the information of the general public. This will reduce the chances of corruption,” an official of the civic agency said.

He said there are several discrepancies in the building regulations which can be covered by rules.

“For example, the regulations are not clear on dealing with shades in buildings, and if they are to be measured in the area covered by the building,” an official of the building control section said.

He said that when the building regulations were formed in 1963 and 2005, there was a trend for outward oriented buildings and now inward buildings are more common.

He said the CDA board has made several blunders in the past which cannot be used as precedent.

“For example, the CDA board decided in favour of allotting plots to CDA employees who had come on deputations,” he said, adding that the definition of commercial plots was also limited so that all revenue

generating businesses are to be allotted commercial plots but schools and private hospitals are not to be provided commercial plots.

The official said the city needs more wedding halls but they cannot be constructed in certain sectors according to the zoning regulations.

An official of the Planning Wing said the CDA’s land disposal regulations were derived from the master plan and that land use affects the master plan in many cases as well.

He said that according to the land disposal regulations, the CDA is bound to allot industrial plots on feasibility basis, but there is a provision for transferring these to a new party, who may or may not have expertise in the trade.

He said that according to the same regulations, CDA is to allow car washing establishments only on petrol pump plots but the number of cars in the city have increased and there is a need for more car wash establishments other than those in petrol pumps.

He said according to the definition of a class-III shopping centre, they are meant for commercial activity, which is in turn not defined in detail and so owners of various commercial centres use the entire market for one kind of trade. He said class-III shopping centres were originally meant to provide daily-use items to people in their neighbourhoods.

Similarly, another officer pointed out irregularities in zoning regulations and said that regulations for a sub-zone of Zone-IV says it is to be used for recreational facilities but in the parameters, it says apartments can also be built there.

Published in Dawn, September 5th, 2018