RAWALPINDI: Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) Director General Saif Anwar Jappa on Thursday made obtaining the authority’s no-objection certificate (NOC) mandatory before anything related to private housing schemes is advertised.

In a letter, he told the Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) Rawalpindi, cantonment boards, Rawalpindi District Council and Rawalpindi tehsil councils to allow publishing of advertisements only after housing societies produce NOCs from the RDA.

He said it had been observed that there was a mushroom growth of private housing schemes and land sub-divisions in almost all parts of Rawalpindi district.

In light of directions of the housing department, (Government of the Punjab) RDA is a controlling agency that can accord permission/NOC to private housing schemes and cases of land sub-division, after due process and in light of the relevant provisions of Punjab Development Authority Land-Use (Classification, Reclassification and Redevelopment Rules, 2021).

Many developers tend to advertise their private housing schemes and cases of land sub-division without any prior approval/ permission of the RDA, he said, adding they develop catchy streamers, banners and hoardings to attract gullible individuals and overseas Pakistanis.

They also develop small documentaries which they put on social media to attract citizens of the country, he said, adding that RDA has already taken up this matter with Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to initiate action against those individuals and firms who are uploading television commercials on social media to sell plots of illegal and unapproved private housing schemes.

Although, he said, that RDA was taking action and getting first information reports (FIRs) registered against the developers of such societies, cooperation of other government departments is equally important to prevent any kind of fraud from happening.

He said that the civic body, after receiving complaints against owners of illegal private housing societies has taken concrete steps to save “innocent people from fraudsters”.

He said RDA advises the general public in their own interest that they should not make any investment in illegal housing schemes. Moreover, the sponsors are also warned immediately to stop the marketing of their unapproved / illegal housing schemes and should contact RDA for getting approval of the scheme as per law, he said, adding otherwise, strict legal action will be taken against them.

Show-cause notice to building inspector

RDA Director General Saif Anwar Jappa on Thursday visited High Court Road, Gulrez Housing Scheme, Timber Market, Pakki Gali and Commercial Road in Rawalpindi and has instructed officials to conduct an operation after inspection of illegal constructions.

The RDA DG has also directed the Building Control Wing to conduct a survey regarding fees and charges for approval of illegal residential and commercial buildings, commercialisation, complementary maps and plans of buildings, an RDA spokesperson said.

On the complaints of the general public, the RDA DG visited Leh Nullah Expressway Road to monitor illegally constructed houses and under-construction buildings on which dangerous construction is going on without any building plan.

He said that Mr Jappa issued a show-cause notice to RDA Building Inspector Mohammad Bilal due to incompetence and failure in work while taking notice of illegal constructions on Leh Nullah Road in City Villas.

Published in Dawn, September 30th, 2022

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