ISLAMABAD: The city managers on Friday decided to change the land use of H-16 from institutional to residential sector to accommodate the affected people, mainly of E-9.

The Capital Development Authority (CDA) Board, which met with its Chairman Amer Ali Ahmed, also took several other decisions, including approval of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the National Radio Telecommunication Corporation (NRTC) to automate its property transfer and building plan approval system.

Under the new system, an app will be introduced from which citizens can apply for property transfer, approval of building plan and other issues related to the CDA.

Officials said on September 20, the first phase of the project will be launched.

The meeting sanctioned the land use change of H-16 subject to an approval from the federal government which is the competent authority to make changes to Islamabad’s master plan.

Currently, half of the sector is meant for institutions and half is a buffer zone.

Sources said in one of the sub-sectors, there would be a public park, while in the other a jail was being constructed. In the remaining two sub-sectors, land affected people would be allotted plots.

The sources said the affected people of E-9 would be compensated in H-16 along with those from Chauntra village in the north of E-10 and D-11.

The master plan of Islamabad was developed with recommendations to revise it after every 20 years in accordance with the city’s changing requirements. However, no comprehensive revisions have been made so far though the PTI government in December 2018 formed a commission of experts to do so.

The commission last year introduced changes to the bylaws for commercial buildings and proposed regularising unauthorised construction in zones II, IV and V. It also decided that for the compressive approval of the master plan a consultant should be hired by the CDA. But the consultant has not been hired so far. The CDA board also approved awarding the consultancy work of a project to the joint venture of local and international firms which submitted the lowest bid of Rs840 million for “water master plan for Islamabad and updating feasibility study of conducting water supply from Terbela reservoir to Islamabad and Rawalpindi under Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode.”

The feasibility study was conducted in 2007 and the firm will carry out a new study proposing how the project could be launched under the PPP mode. Upon completion, the project will provide 100 million gallon per day (mgd) of water to Rawalpindi and Islamabad each.

The board also ended the arbitrary transfer posting in the CDA and decided that in future instead of an individual officer a committee will propose merit-based transfer and posting of officials.

In a bid to stop misuse of fuel from CDA’s pumps, the meeting also decided to introduce a card system.

The board also approved a plot for the chancery building of Maldives in the Diplomatic Enclave. The decision on a summary seeking allotment of plots for churches in the recognised slums of Islamabad was postponed till an input from the Auqaf department.

Published in Dawn, September 12th, 2020