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Two years on, Senate’s directives to regulate housing societies not yet enforced

Updated January 12, 2019

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2006 reports point fingers at CDA and capital administration for growth of housing societies.— File
2006 reports point fingers at CDA and capital administration for growth of housing societies.— File

ISLAMABAD: Even after two-and-a-half years, the city managers have failed to properly implement the recommendations of the Senate to regulate housing societies.

In 2016, two reports compiled by the Senate Standing Committee on Law and Justice had pointed fingers at the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and the local administration for the mushroom growth of illegal housing schemes and the violation of layout plans by genuine cooperative housing societies.

The reports, which were adopted by the Senate in 2016 and by the CDA in March 2018, are yet to be properly implemented.

Two reports prepared by a standing committee in 2016 pointed fingers at CDA and capital administration for growth of housing societies

In one of the reports about the cooperative housing schemes, the Senate had recommended that the violations of layout plans committed by housing schemes may be accommodated by amending the regulations.

However, the house had directed the civic agencies that no compromise should be made regarding public parks.

After being informed that green areas and amenity plots had been sold out by housing societies, the Senate had recommended that any land adjacent to the housing schemes may be bought and utilised as public parks while space for graveyards should be acquired in the vicinities of the societies.

Two to three cooperative societies can also make joint ventures for providing and maintaining such a space. The report also said alternative sites should be given for public buildings.

The Senate had also directed that the role of the CDA and capital administration officers and officials in the mushroom growth of illegal housing societies should be identified.

The CDA was also recommended to acquire land for the development of sectors and get land in Zone 3 for the Margalla Hills National Park.

However, the sources said, the recommendations of the upper house of parliament were not properly implemented.

When contacted, CDA spokesman Syed Safdar Ali claimed that the civic agency had been implementing the recommendations.

“Nothing is pending on our part and approval will be processed once formalities are completed. During the last four year, no scheme has been approved formally as documentation is not completed by sponsors,” he said.

But sources said the level of violations made by housing societies was so enormous that in many cases it was practically not possible for them to comply with the recommendations.

For example, they added, it was recommended that land adjacent to a housing society which violated its layout plan should be bought by the same society to provide public parks and graveyards.

“In the surrounding of many societies, no unutilised land is available,” said the sources.

Meanwhile, in a related development, the civic agency issued notices to 13 housing societies for the recovery of Rs1.5 billion pending against them in terms of excess charges, extension of development period, changes in approved layout plans and development without obtaining no-objection certificates.

According to CDA documents, Cabinet Division Society has to pay Rs181 million, Engineers’ Society Rs71 million, Khayaban-i-Kashmir-I Rs261m, Margalla View Rs93m, Ministry of Interior Housing Society Rs94m, Multi Gardens-I, Rs337m, Tele Gardens Rs83m, Zarkoon Heights Rs16m, Bahria Town Phase-7 Rs3.8m, Capital Enclave Rs41m, CBR Town Rs34m, Gulberg Town Rs34m and Jinnah Town Rs91m.

Officials said the CDA on and off took action against housing societies which had got layout plans approved or had NOCs but there were over 100 totally illegal housing societies against whom no proper action was taken on time. In most of such societies, their operators have sold out plots to the citizens.

They said in such schemes on the directions of the CDA now utility connections were not being provided to the residents.

The CDA spokesman said action was being taken against both illegal housing societies and those that had deficiencies in their layout plans.

Published in Dawn, January 12th, 2019

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