ISLAMABAD: The reconstituted commission on master plan on Wednesday decided to form eight subcommittees which will finalise recommendations to resolve issues being faced by the city and its residents.

The commission met at the CDA headquarters which was presided over by the Capital Development Authority Chairman Amer Ali Ahmed.

The members of the commission participated in the meeting, some physically and others online.

The meeting discussed various issues such as unauthorised construction, environmental destruction, encroachment and urban regeneration.

According to the CDA’s spokesman Syed Asif Raza, the commission decided to form eight subcommittees, which would finalise recommendations on various issues.

The spokesman said the committees were constituted on urban regeneration, transportation, climate change, health, education and mass transit, adding that it was also decided that the commission would get feedback from citizens before finalising recommendations.

It was also decided that a citizen portal on CDA’s website will be activated to get suggestions from citizens on the revision of master plan.

A source said during the meeting, representative of the Survey General of Pakistan also gave a briefing to the commission members on cadastral mapping of Islamabad.

He said the commission members were of the view that now CDA had a complete map of all land that fell in the limits of Islamabad.

“We decided to use cadastral map for resolving issues. As now we know, what is the status of illegal housing schemes, where CDA’s land is under illegal occupation, so this cadastral map will be very helpful for us to resolve issues of Islamabad,” said a member of the commission.

He said the cadastral map also had detailed mapping of illegal housing schemes including the largest one – Ghauri Town.

The federal cabinet recently reconstituted the commission on master plan, which was earlier formed in December 2018.

However, the commission has yet to complete revision of blue print of the city, which was prepared back in 1960. According to Greek architect and town planning firm, Doxiadis Associates, which had prepared Islamabad’s master plan, had proposed its proper revision after every 20 years.

However, successive governments did not pay any heed towards revision of the master plan but focused on unplanned selective changes (so far 43 changes have been made). Prime Minister Imran Khan formed a commission in December 2018 to revise the master plan, but it has yet not been undertaken. However, an interim report was prepared by the commission, which was approved by the cabinet in October 2019.

The interim report was mainly related to bylaws of commercial buildings and for regulations of houses in few areas. However, proper revision is yet to be done. Last month, the federal cabinet added new members to the commission apparently for early revision of the master plan.

Published in Dawn, September 23rd, 2021

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