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ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) on Thursday sealed several unauthorised under construction high-rise buildings in E-11.

CDA’s Building Control-II Directorate, an ICT magistrate and enforcement staff sealed several under construction high rise buildings including Madina Tower, Capital Residentia, Umair Residentia, Verandha and Ahad Apartments.

CDA has so far conducted several operations in E-11 and sealed buildings but operators of many of these buildings, according to the civic agency, have broken the official seal and reopened them.

The above mentioned buildings are one of those which were sealed previously but their owners broken the seals and re-opened them on their own.

The CDA had started an operation of sealing unauthorised buildings last year in the sector, which contains 84 unauthorised high-rise buildings as almost all constructed and under-construction buildings did not have an approved building plan or a no-objection certificate from the civic agency.

On the other hand, developers said they have made large investments in the buildings including the purchase of land and that the civic agency did not stop them at any point during construction. All of a sudden, they said, the CDA swung into action last year.

A CDA official said action should have been taken many years ago to encourage business of commercial buildings such as apartments in the sector.

He said no steps were taken to regulate construction in the sector in the past due to negligence and that various courts have also ruled that the CDA cannot regulate buildings in E-11, or anywhere in Islamabad, till it changes its rules and regulations.

CDA Building Control Section-II Deputy Director Usman Rashid said construction is not allowed without the approval of building plans, according to CDA by-laws.

“The buildings in question in E-11 are unauthorised and we sealed several today,” he said, adding that the owners of the buildings had broken the official seals to resume construction work.

Mr Rashid said CDA has decided to launch legal proceedings against all the operators who have broken the official seal.

Last year too, operators of over 20 buildings in E-11 had re-started construction work after breaking the seals.

Published in Dawn, September 7th, 2018