PAKISTAN, in general, and the twin cities, in particular, have seen mushroom growth in real estate and housing societies in recent years. As the real estate sector offers one of the highest returns on investment, people find it an easy source of income.

However, there is a general lack of framework regarding these housing societies and the regulations they should follow, especially in the federal capital.

On top of that, most of the housing societies are not registered with the Capital Development Authority (CDA), bringing their legitimacy into question. Many people want to invest in these projects in order to secure their hard-earned money, and make some profit, but there are risks involved.

Private housing societies and their legality is an issue for almost all investors. There are many illegitimate housing societies that offer highly lucrative deals, and the gullible keep getting trapped, losing in the process their hard-earned money.

As a concerned citizen, I wish to point out that most unlawful construction is being done by the illegal societies without proper no-objection certificates (NOCs) from the CDA.

There are 204 housing societies in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Only 22 of them have been granted NOCs by the CDA.

The advertisements placed by these housing societies, in any shape, should be banned unless they get the proper NOCs from the CDA. It is the civil duty of all the relevant authorities to inform the people about the status of any piece of land and the legality issues related to the matter so that they may take informed decisions. The CDA should ensure that these societies follow the parameters and guidelines already in place.

As things stand today, it is the common buyer who has to bear the brunt in the end for having invested in illegal societies due to lack of awareness. The CDA should constantly update the profile of legal housing societies on its website in order to keep the investors suitably informed.

The civic authorities are under obligation to do this, and the relevant quarters should look into the matter and take swift and strict legal measures against all illegal housing societies.

Muhammad Sagheer
Islamabad

Published in Dawn, September 21st, 2021

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