ISLAMABAD: The city managers have decided that the planning wing will not decide cases regarding the revised layout plan (LOP) for the housing schemes without the approval of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) board.

Sources in the planning wing of the CDA told Dawn that the chairman secretariat on Wednesday took notice of the approval of revised layout plans (LOPs) without the input of the CDA board. They said that through a letter, the member planning’s office has been barred from approving the revised LOP without the approval of the board.

“It has been observed by the authority that revised layout plans of housing schemes/projects in Islamabad Capital Territory after issuances of No Objection Certificates are being approved without concurrence/approval of CDA board,” read the letter of the chairman secretariat.

It further said: “In future, all approvals related to the revision of LOPs will be placed before the CDA board for approval. Necessary amendments in regulations, if required, may be incorporated,” the letter said.

Decision taken to discourage illegal housing schemes, improve planning wing

Sources in CDA said that this decision was made to bring improvement in the working of the planning wing.

It is relevant to note here, there are over 100 housing schemes in Islamabad and a large number of them are unauthorised and illegal.

In many cases, their operators got the approval of LOPs from the CDA and sold out plots without getting NOC for the said purpose. This practice has affected the buyers of these plots since these societies subsequently could not get NOCs.

Similarly, sources said that in many cases, the operators of housing schemes got the approval for LOPs to give legal cover to their schemes and later they violated the LOPs and sold out land meant for green areas and for other amenities.

In past, during meetings of the standing committee, it was pointed out that many societies sold the land which was reserved for mosques, schools, graveyards, and parks.

In addition to societies misusing LOPs, there is another category of housing schemes that do not even have approved layout plans and projects are being developed without compliance with any rules and regulations.

The CDA also failed to stop construction work in the said societies – Ghauri Town Housing Scheme, which has eight phases, is one of the largest illegal housing schemes developed during the last two decades under the nose of the CDA.

It may be noted that dozens of such illegal housing schemes are operating in Zone IV and Zone V while some are even also located in Zone III.

A CDA officer told Dawn that the CDA approves NOCs of housing schemes after a thorough process. He added that the civic agency issued notices and took action against illegal schemes and in some cases, FIRs were also registered.

“We constantly issue warning alerts and public announcements through media and CDA’s website, requesting people and investors not to invest in illegal housing schemes. Lists of all illegal and legal housing schemes have already been placed on CDA’s website to help citizens.”

Published in Dawn, March 24th, 2023

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