PDA frames rules to regulate housing schemes

Updated October 07, 2019

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For the first time, Peshawar Development Authority has framed regulations for streamlining the affairs of private housing schemes, which hitherto remained unbridled in the absence of proper legal framework and caused plethora of problems for the landowners. — Photo by Abdul Majeed Goraya/File
For the first time, Peshawar Development Authority has framed regulations for streamlining the affairs of private housing schemes, which hitherto remained unbridled in the absence of proper legal framework and caused plethora of problems for the landowners. — Photo by Abdul Majeed Goraya/File

PESHAWAR: For the first time, Peshawar Development Authority has framed regulations for streamlining the affairs of private housing schemes, which hitherto remained unbridled in the absence of proper legal framework and caused plethora of problems for the landowners.

Officials said that on the directives of the provincial local government department, PDA framed The Peshawar Development Authority Private Housing Scheme Regulations, 2019, under Section 48 (A) of PDA Act, 2017.

Under the regulations, the private housing societies have to provide proper land for the housing schemes along with all basic facilities including sanitation, drinking water, natural gas, electricity, proper roads and public parks etc.

A tehsil municipal officer told Dawn that currently private housing schemes were full of problems including ownership issues as the same plots were sold to several people because such schemes were not properly managed.

The new regulations states: “The land acquisition collector office of PDA through liaison with the concerned revenue office shall, within ten (10) working days, scrutinise the ownership documents to ascertain the genuineness and validity of the same thereby confirming the ownership of land.”

The regulations said that minimum area of 100-kanal was required for development of a housing scheme.

Introduced for the first time, regulations bind developers to provide proper land and basic facilities to residents of societies

Similarly, the land acquisition collector (LAC) shall certify that the width of access road is not less than 30 feet. The LAC is also responsible to verify the non-encumbrance certificate from the relevant government office thereby certifying that the land has not been notified by the government for any other purpose.

PDA has also involved the provincial environment protection agency (EPA) in the selection of land for private housing schemes.

The regulations have made EPA responsible to check whether the proposed site for the housing scheme is not prone to flooding and other environmental hazards and that the development of a housing scheme thereon will not result in any damage to the environment.

Under the regulations, the developers are bound to left seven per cent open space or parks of total land acquired for the development of the housing scheme, two per cent for graveyard, five per cent for commercial area and five per cent for public buildings.

Similarly, through the regulations, PDA has fixed the maximum size of residential plot 10,890 square feet (two kanals) and minimum size of residential plot 816.75 square feet (three marlas), internal roads with minimum 30 feet right of way and a 10-marla plot for solid waste management.

The regulations say that the developers will reserve 20 per cent of the plots in a housing scheme for the low income groups measuring three to five marla plots.

The housing societies would also spare land for grid station and green strip under high tension electricity line as per requirements of the government agency responsible for provision of electricity.

The submission of the financial statement by the developer with the authority is compulsory, indicating that enough funds are available for development of the proposed housing scheme that include bank statements, detail of self-owned assets or loan agreement with a scheduled bank (if any) and planning standards for a housing scheme.

The authority will, through a “planning committee” notified for the purpose ensure that a housing scheme is planned and sanctioned in accordance with the national reference manual on planning and infrastructure standards, prepared by ministry of housing and urban affairs, environment and urban affairs division, government of Pakistan.

Under the new regulations, the developers must hire services of qualified public health and structural engineers, who should be members of Pakistan Engineering Council for preparation of detailed design and specifications of water supply, sewerage and drainage systems.

A developer will, within one year of the sanction of a scheme, submit to the directorate of housing schemes a solid waste management plan.

It will include a plan showing location of proposed dustbins, storage places and collection and disposal of solid waste system.

In case where a developer initiates developmental activities within a scheme area or engages in sale and purchase of land within the scheme area without permission of the authority for the first time, he/she will be liable to punishment, which may extend up to Rs5 million fine and imprisonment that can extend up to three years or with both under the relevant provisions of PDA Act, 2017.

In case of second time violation, the authority will intimate the same to the deputy commissioner with the request to freeze transfer of titles within the area.

The scheme area will be taken over by the authority and the land will be forfeited in the favour of the government, according to the regulations.

Published in Dawn, October 7th, 2019