RAWALPINDI: Taking notice of alleged illegal activities along Soan River in Bahria Town Phase VIII, Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) enforcement squad during an operation on Monday demolished billboards, temporary structures, Marina IT Tower hoardings and sewer holes.

RDA spokesman Hafiz Irfan told Dawn that on the directives of RDA Director General Kinza Murtaza, the RDA’s enforcement squad took action for illegal conversion of green belts and roads into commercial plots in Bahria Business District in violation of approved layout plan (LOP) of Bahria Town Phase VIII in Mouza Gali and Mouza Shahpur Rawalpindi.

The authorities conducted the operation on the complaints of the residents of Bahria Town who had approached the RDA through its representative body, known as Brace. He said the RDA’s operation against illegal development and illegal housing schemes was in full swing, alleging that the housing scheme was carrying out illegal development without the approval of no-objection certificates (NOCs) in violation of Punjab Development of Cities Act 1976 and Punjab Private Housing Schemes and Land Subdivision Rules 2021.

“The housing scheme was illegally displaying advertisements along Soan River by Capital Estate Icon marketing company,” he added.

The RDA enforcement squad, including assistant director Building Control/Incharge Enforcement Squad, the assistant director planning, superintendent scheme, the scheme inspector and others with the assistance of the police from the concerned police station Rawat carried out operation against above mentioned housing scheme.

He said the RDA DG had directed the officials of the concerned directorate to take strict action against encroachments, illegal and unauthorised constructions and commercial activities without any fear and favour.

He said the general public should also show moral responsibility and remove every type of encroachment as much as they could so that they could avoid any further losses. The RDA suggests the citizens to consult with it before investing in such projects, he added.

Apart from this, he said the RDA made it clear that there would be no permission to carry out development work on the right of the way of Soan River. He said the RDA would raze the building structure in and around the Soan River banks.

He said the RDA also sought the help of local police to carry out the anti-encroachment drive and unauthorised buildings. He said the RDA had prepared the list of the illegal housing societies and for the public awareness, it had been uploaded on the websites and different squares of the city. He requested the people to check the website of RDA before going for investment in any housing scheme in future.

Published in Dawn, April 9th, 2024

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