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ISLAMABAD: Multi-storey apartment buildings in F-10 have been allowed occupancy of more than 1,000 residents without completion certificates, a high court applicant revealed on Monday.

During the hearing of an application filed by Al-Mustafa Towers resident Shafique Swati, the applicant told the Islamabad High Court (IHC) that there are more than a thousand people living in 318 flats in the building.

He alleged that the building was dangerous because of its dilapidated condition, and that the Capital Development Authority (CDA) has permitted the handing over of flats to buyers without the issuance of a completion certificate.

According to the applicant, the construction company Madinawala handed over the flats to 318 buyers in 2002. It also charged them Rs50 million for lifetime maintenance of the building, funds the applicant claims were never spent on building repairs.

In 2007, the building’s management announced a Rs2,000-a-month maintenance charge for each flat, the applicant said, but no efforts have been made to repair the ‘falling down’ building despite the additional charges.

Citing reports of the CDA building control section, the applicant said that following the collapse of a Margalla Towers block during the 2005 earthquake, the authority carried out various inspections that found the building to be unsafe, but the management of the building never made an effort to strengthen the building’s structure.

Residents of the building have filed a number of complaints with successive CDA chairmen in the past, but to no avail. An application has been submitted to incumbent chairman Afzal Latif, but the authorit appears reluctant to address an issue that has endangered hundreds of residents.

The application was taken up by Justice Athar Minallah, who after the preliminary hearing advised the applicant to file a writ petition. The applicant subsequently engaged Hashmat Ali Habib and Javed Saleem Shorish as his counsel.

Justice Minallah has asked the CDA to explain why a completion certificate could not be issued for the building, and directed the authority to conduct a thorough inspection of the building and submit a detailed report in a fortnight.

Published in Dawn, December 18th, 2018