PESHAWAR: Land surveys will be conducted in all districts of the province following the enactment of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Land Use and Building Control Bill, 2021, to formulate land use plans across the province.
The provincial cabinet had approved the bill last week and it is likely to be tabled in the provincial assembly for approval next week.
The proposed law provides for the establishment of the Provincial Land Use and Building Control Authority at provincial level and the Local Planning and Enforcement Unit and District Land Use and Planning and Management Committee at district levels.
The District Land Use and Management Committee will have wide-ranging functions including formulation of district land use plans or master plans, monthly review of NOCs issued by the agencies concerned for land use and development permissions, action to undo violation including demolition or reconstruction of a building and stopping a developer from development carried out in violation of planning permission among other.
The bill provides for determination of existing planned and unplanned areas in the survey under Section 15(2).
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Under Section 15(3), depending on the results of the survey, the area will be categorised in one or more of 13 land use classes including residential, commercial, industrial, forest, national park, mining, agriculture, concentrated public sector area, recreational, mixed land use, barren and vacant land, water bodies, area prone to natural hazard and other land use type.
The land use plans to be formulated in light of the surveys will include description of district boundaries and tehsils along with comprehensive topographical mapping of the area, using the geographical information systems. The plans will also include the coverage of water, sewerage and waste disposal services; identification of tourists’ and archaeological spots, and descriptions and measurement of open and green spaces and traffic flows.
Section 21 of the bill provides for land use permission, where after notification of a district land use plan or master plan, no person, including a government agency, shall use a land or building for permissible uses without the appropriate land use permission.
In case of development permission required for development, Section 22 provides for where a district land use or master plan has been notified, no person, or government agency, shall undertake land development, road remodeling or building construction without a temporary development permission by the planning control officer.
Section 31 of the proposed law empowers the authority to urban design improvement proposal. “Where the urban design of an area has been ranked as poor or where the government so directs, the authority itself or on instructions, the unit shall formulate an improvement proposal,” it read.
According to the bill, such an improvement shall contain, a land use change plan, redevelopment plan, building stock renewal plan, changes that may be required in development and ownership and steps that shall be taken for a smooth and orderly transition to planned development.
A land use inspectorate will be set up under Section 43 of the bill, which will be an external body and responsible for checking level of enforcement of various provisions of the act.
First schedule of the proposed bill provides for fines up to Rs10 million and imprisonment ranging from three years for undertaking land development work, except in accordance with development permission and rules applicable to development, failure to implement an approved land use or building conversion plan within the stipulated time.
Besides, the Provincial Land Use and Building Control Council will also be set up. Headed by the chief minister, it will be responsible for approving policies and guidelines pertaining to the authority’s functioning. The council will meet twice a year.
Published in Dawn, October 16th, 2021