ISLAMABAD: Following flooding in E-11, city managers have decided to move a summary to the federal government, seeking revocation of orders of former president Ayub Khan related to this sector, to ensure enforcement of the civic agency’s bylaws therein.

Sources said that after a meeting, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) on Friday prepared a summary to be sent to federal government to revoke President Ayub’s orders.

“We are going to send a summary to federal government to revoke former president’s orders regarding E-11,” said an officer of CDA involved in the summary making process.

The former president due to presence of Golra Shrine had exempted Revenue Estate Golra from land acquisition.

Though, the civic agency in the light of CDA Ordinance 1960 is supposed to regulate all buildings and houses within 906 square kilometres of Islamabad, it kept itself restricted mostly to its own sectors and left E-11 as a no man’s land, on the pretext of “exempted” status of this sector. This resulted in mushroom growth of unauthorised buildings.

Out of five, three housing societies including Medical Cooperative Housing Society, which saw urban flooding recently are operating without no objection certificates (NOCs).

Earlier, CDA in 2007-8 made bylaws for high-rise buildings in E-11, but those too were not implemented in letter and spirit.

Similarly, the CDA also did not enforce its bylaws in rural areas until 2017, but that was too late as thousands of unauthorised buildings and houses in rural areas had already been constructed.

Sources said that the government and city managers are on the same page to enforce all CDA bylaws in E-11.

They said that a summary will be sent to Prime Minister Imran Khan for revoking orders of former president to remove confusion regarding the status of E-11.

“We want to remove confusion related to the so-called special status of E-11. We don’t want to take over or acquire this sector, but we want to enforce all our bylaws in E-11 to avoid future tragedies,” said a government source.

He said that besides illegal housing societies, the sector is also dotted with over 70 unauthorised high-rise buildings and many of them are located in narrow streets, which poses risk.

“E-11 has had its peculiar status since 1960. It was not acquired and exempted from same by President Ayub. Later, Gen Zia passed a presidential order to change its status making it sort of an island in Islamabad,” said an officer of CDA, adding the authority has decided to take the entire sector under its umbrella.

“All regulations will apply and all standards of CDA will be followed,” he said and added that any expense therein will be borne by managements of projects, to bring their projects under CDA regulations.

“All expenses for hydrological survey, widening of roads, removal of encroachments and compensation will be a liability on sponsors of the projects. The ICT admin has been requested for legal cover in the matter so that this becomes binding on them and the same can be enforced,” he said.

A member of CDA board also confirmed to Dawn that a summary was finalised on Friday to bring E-11 under CDA’s laws.

Meanwhile, sources said that an inquiry is being conducted by deputy commissioner Islamabad regarding the Medical Cooperative Housing Society. They said that the society, which narrowed down the natural stream in 2010, got its layout plan approved by CDA. However, later on due to violations, the civic agency cancelled the layout plan but did not take any serious action to stop growth of the society.

Published in Dawn, July 31st, 2021

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