Capital’s civic issues to be studied before changing master plan

Updated 18 Jan 2019


Consultant to be hired to prepare report on issues such as traffic, water supply, sanitation, solid waste.
Consultant to be hired to prepare report on issues such as traffic, water supply, sanitation, solid waste.

ISLAMABAD: The commission formed by the federal government for the first-ever revision of Islamabad’s master plan at its maiden meeting on Thursday decided to carry out around 10 studies for making the changes effective for year 2020-40.

The meeting held at the Capital Development Authority (CDA) headquarters was chaired by Chairman Amer Ali Ahmad and attended by all the CDA board members and representatives of different departments.

The commission decided to engage the services of a consultant to conduct studies on important issues being faced by the city and prepare a report.

Consultant to be hired to prepare report on issues such as traffic, water supply, sanitation, solid waste and unauthorised construction

Sources said the studies would cover issues such as traffic, water supply, sanitation, solid waste, unauthorised construction and environment.

“Today’s was an introductory meeting in which we decided our future course of action. We decided to carry out various studies for making effective recommendations,” the CDA chairman, who is also the commissioner of Islamabad, told Dawn.

He said before making broader recommendations the commission would take all stakeholders such as citizens, environmentalists and other experts on board.

Islamabad’s master plan was prepared in 1959-60 by a Greek firm, Doxiadis. The firm had suggested revising the master plan after every 20 year.

However, successive governments never made any revision and technically the master plan expired in 1980. Non-revision of the document resulted in poor planning and a mushroom growth of unauthorised constructions in the capital.

But during this period several selective changes were made to the master plan mostly to give benefit to individuals such as allowing housing societies in Zone IV which, according to the master plan, was a green area.

Recently, the federal cabinet formed the commission for making recommendations within six months to revise the master plan.

According to CDA spokesman Syed Safdar Ali, the meeting was briefed about the original master plan and its dynamics. The participants were told that the life of the master plan expired in 1980s.

The meeting decided that a vision statement of the commission would be formulated and also key process areas for the revision would be indicated.

It was agreed that an input from all stakeholders would be taken into consideration and an online input mechanism would be developed to incorporate citizens’ input.

The meeting also decided that linkages would be explored to take all departments on board. A transparent process would be the key factor in the revision of the master plan.

The second meeting of the commission will be held next week during which progress on the decisions taken at the first meeting would be discussed.

The meeting was attended by Syed Ayub Qutab, executive Pakistan Institute for Environmental Research; Asad Mehboob Kayani, former member planning and design CDA, Jawad Ali Khan, habitat programme manager UN Human Settlement Programme, besides representatives of Pakistan Environment Protection Agency, Planning Commission of Pakistan, Municipal Corporation Islamabad and the Pakistan Council of Architects and Town Planners.

Nespak Managing Director Dr Ahmed Zeb, who holds a doctorate on Islamabad’s master plan, also attended the meeting.

Published in Dawn, January 18th, 2019