ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) sealed 20 construction sites along the G.T. Road in Zone V on Wednesday, although it has yet to approve by-laws that deal with unauthorised buildings.
A total of 20 under-construction commercial buildings were sealed by the authority’s building control directorate on the G.T. Road from Soan to Rawat, opposite the Defence Housing Authority (DHA).
CDA spokesperson Syed Safdar Ali told Dawn these buildings were sealed after they were issued notices. He said they were also sealed last year, but their owners had continued with construction anyway.
Mr Ali said unauthorised buildings are prohibited across the capital.
There are more than a hundred unauthorised buildings in the aforementioned area which will be sealed in the coming days, sources said.
Authority does not have bylaws to deal with unauthorised buildings straddling main roads
CDA’s planning wing had prepared a summary for the board last year finalising new regulations for commercial buildings along major roads such as Islamabad Expressway, G.T. Road, Murree Road, Bhara Kahu, Simly Dam Road, Park Road, Kuri Road and Lehtrar Road.
The CDA board had deferred the issue after a short briefing. The authority currently has no bylaws to deal with such buildings, but Mr Ali said that the absence of bylaws for construction astride major roads had nothing to do with the sealing of under-construction buildings.
“These two are separate things. As per court orders, we can’t regulate any buildings until Islamabad’s master plan is reviewed, and the said by-laws mostly relate to regularising already constructed buildings,” the spokesperson said.
He added: “Whereas, section 144 is already imposed against unauthorised construction, and there is a complete ban on unauthorised buildings in entire Islamabad.”
He said that the commission reviewing the capital’s master plan has also directed the CDA to implement the ban on unauthorised construction, so the commission will find a proper solution.
Thousands of unauthorised buildings have already been constructed along these roads in violation of building parameters, and cause traffic congestion due to the lack of parking space around them.
In its 58 years, the CDA has not made a serious attempt to implement its by-laws outside its residential sectors, leading unauthorised construction to mushroom in rural parts of the capital.
The city’s master plan is now being reviewed by a 12-member commission formed by the federal government, which will look into such matters and propose solutions to this and other chronic issues.
Proposed by-laws were also presented to the CDA board in 2015 and were approved in principle, subject to consultation with the Islamabad Capital Territory administration and final approval from cabinet. The summary presented to the board last year was not approved.
This summary had proposed regulations for the G.T. Road in zones II and V, stating that 500 square yards plots would be allowed to build a basement, plus ground, plus one, while 500-999sq yd plots would be allowed basement, plus ground, plus three storeys and 1,000sq yd plots would be allowed basement, plus ground, plus six.
In Zone II, a 30 feet-wide road would be left at the front side and transferred to the CDA as a service road, while direct access from CDA would not be provided. The new summary had also sought approval for by-laws for Kuri Road, Kahuta Road and Fatehjang Road.
Published in Dawn, February 21st, 2019