ISLAMABAD: After opening a window for regularisation of unauthorised construction in Zone IV, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) has also decided to regularise high-rise buildings in E-11.
Sources in the CDA said new parameters to regulate buildings in E-11 had been notified in the Gazette of Pakistan through a statutory regulatory order (SRO). There are over 50 high-rise unauthorised apartment buildings in E-11 where builders and local people made billions of rupees investment. However, a few years ago the CDA got all construction activities in the sector stopped.
The CDA ignored the massive unauthorised construction in the sector for years claiming the area was an ‘exempted pocket’.
The sources said because of a shrine revenue estate Golra was exempted from land acquisition but the CDA was supposed to implement its bylaws there which it failed to do. It restricted itself mostly to issuing notices and occasionally sealing buildings.
The CDA Part II SRO titled “Review of master plan of Islamabad prepared by federal commission” got new parameters notified in the Gazette of Pakistan on February 14 to regulate the buildings in E-11. The SRO stated: “Due to lack of enforcement, hundreds of projects have been executed in Islamabad. There have been several ruling from august courts to take immediate steps in order to provide relief to residents of these projects. There are number of multi-storey housing projects constructed in E-11 without getting necessary approval from the CDA.”
New parameters for regularising over 50 buildings notified through statutory regulatory order
It said CDA formulated zoning control policy in 2007 to regulate construction of such projects in E-11 which could not be implemented.
“These multi-storey projects need immediate attention as lot of people are living and a huge amount of money has been invested there.”
The projects should be regularised after taking compoundable and non-compoundable charges from the developers subject to health and safety evaluation study completed by consultants.
“In conformity with the Pakistan Building Code (Seismic Provisions 2007) other applicable environmental laws are to be ensured. Provision of amenities, infrastructure, open spaces, parking and circulation of traffic must be developed through cost sharing by the developers,” the SRO said.
It added that latest traffic, environmental impact studies and urban regeneration studies will provide the way forward for the regularisation of E-11.
“All buildings which meet the criteria recently approved amendments in zoning control policy 2007 and supported by traffic impact and environmental impact studies be regularised with imposition of fee and penalties,” the SRO said.
“This is a big development. The chronic issue of E-11 will be resolved amicably now. Those buildings which meet our criteria will be regularised,” said CDA spokesperson Syed Safdar Ali. He said environmental study and traffic impact will be the main criteria for regularising the buildings.
He, however, said the SRO was not E-11 specific rather it also related to other construction and housing societies.
The PTI government formed the federal commission of experts in December 2018 to revise the master plan of Islamabad. A comprehensive revision of the master plan could not be made so far as a consultant firm to carry out the revision is yet to be hired by the CDA. But the commission in its interim report approved by the federal cabinet in October 2019 opened a window to regularise unauthorised constructions in Zone IV, V and E-11.
In December, the CDA had also notified bylaws in Gazette of Pakistan, which provided a chance to owners of unauthorised constructions (except zone III), including Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Banigala house, to get their buildings approved.
Mr Khan had applied to regularise his house in 2018. But the authority raised objections to his application and asked him to provide missing information. The regularisation process was later stopped.
But in December 2019, following approval of the cabinet, the CDA notified the bylaws which allowed owners of all unauthorised constructions to get their building regularised by CDA.
Published in Dawn, February 26th, 2020