CDA starts process to hire consultant for revision of master plan

Updated 29 Sep 2020

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After a considerable delay in hiring a consultant firm for the revision of Islamabad’s master plan, the city managers are now seeking applications from reputed international firms.
— Photo by Muhammad Asim/File
After a considerable delay in hiring a consultant firm for the revision of Islamabad’s master plan, the city managers are now seeking applications from reputed international firms. — Photo by Muhammad Asim/File

ISLAMABAD: After a considerable delay in hiring a consultant firm for the revision of Islamabad’s master plan, the city managers are now seeking applications from reputed international firms.

The PTI government had formed a commission in December 2018 to revise the master plan.

But after holding a series of meetings, the commission addressed some issues such as bylaws of commercial buildings but left the comprehensive revision of the city’s blueprint to the consultant.

The matter was later placed before the federal cabinet which in October last year directed the CDA to hire an international consultant for revising the master plan in collaboration with the Planning Commission.

After a gap of almost one year, the CDA has finally decided to invite applications from reputed firms.

Ad seeking applications from firms will appear in international press soon, says official

Officials said an advertisement had been booked in two international newspapers, which were likely to be published in a couple of weeks.

“We have booked our ads which will soon appear in the international publications,” said CDA spokesperson Mazhar Hussain.

Asked about the delay in implementation of the cabinet directive, he said: “We held a series of meetings with the Planning Commission and other stakeholders. Secondly, we had to complete all procedures before hiring the consultant.”

He said the revision of the master plan was a gigantic task and “we did utmost care in finalising things before booking the ads.”

Sources in the CDA said once hired the consultant firm will propose solutions to several issues being confronted by the civic agency for a few decades.

They said thousands of people had built homes and other structures in parts of the capital where construction was not allowed under the original master plan. The CDA, which is responsible for regulating buildings all over the capital, did not attempt to halt the unauthorised construction beyond the planned sectors that resulted in the mushroom growth of the unauthorised construction.

They said the consultant will propose a solution to the problem. Similarly, they said, high-rise buildings have already been constructed in non-permissible areas while the city is also dotted with unauthorised housing schemes.

Islamabad’s master plan was prepared in 1960 and supposed to be revised after every 20 years. But successive governments did not make proper revisions in accordance with the city’s emerging needs.

On the other hand, over 40 selective changes were made by different governments without an input from professional consultants.

CDA officials said in the past two attempts to revise the master plan were made but work was halted before reaching a conclusion.

“This time, we have very good chance of revising the master plan and will make every effort to get the task completed during the tenure of the incumbent government,” said an official of the CDA, hinting that the revision could take two years.

Published in Dawn, September 29th, 2020