No space for the dead: Rural residents’ burial in CDA graveyards may violate bylaws

Mayor defends decision to allow people from outside urban Islamabad to use Sector H-11/3 graveyard

Shahzad Anwar January 19, 2017
Thousands of CDA employees gathered at the CDA headquarters and closed the office blocks to protest the allotments of plots to senior officers, including those on deputation.

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Mayor’s plan to allow residents of areas outside Capital Development Authority (CDA) area limits to bury their dead in H-11/3 graveyard may run afoul of Islamabad’s rules.

A few days ago, during a session of the Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation (IMC), Islamabad Mayor and CDA Chairman Sheikh Anser Aziz had allowed people from UC-44 Bokra, UC-45 Jhangi Saydan, UC-46 Badhana Kalan, UC-47 Tarnol, and UC-48 Sarai Kharbooza to bury their dead in the H-11/3 Graveyard as there is not sufficient space in these union councils.

Previously, only residents of Islamabad’s urban areas were allowed to use the graveyard. Relatives of the deceased were required to present an identity card to prove permanent residence in the capital.

“CDA Chairman Sheikh Anser Aziz gave permission for burial of deceased not belonging to CDA planned-and-developed schemes in violation of ICT zoning regulations, modalities and procedure for private housing societies approved by federal Cabinet in 1992,” a CDA official told The Express Tribune on the condition of anonymity.

The official said that the CDA chief did not have the authority to alter ICT zoning regulations and that the grant of permission was an attempt to provide benefit to the private housing societies which had been built on land reserved for public buildings, graveyards, parks, schools or mosques.

He added that according to Modalities and Procedures framed under ICT (Zoning) Regulation 1992 for the development of private housing schemes, it was mandatory for housing societies to reserve at least two per cent of their land for graveyards.

Moreover, he said that under the ICT zoning regulations, at least 100 acres (800 kanals) were required to set up a housing society in Zone-II of the ICT zoning plan, while 50 acres (400 kanals) were required in Zone-V.

Mayor Aziz, while confirming to The Express Tribune that union councils 44 through 48 had been allowed to use CDA graveyards, said that chairmen of these UCs were directed to ensure compliance with rules for using the graveyards.

Aziz said that the UC chairmen will have to check and verify that the people coming to bury their loved ones and the deceased were residents and voters of their respective union councils.

Talking about the lack of burial space in housing societies, Aziz said that some housing societies had been issued notices for violating zoning regulations and that the NOCs of some societies had also been cancelled for illegally converting amenity land.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 20th, 2017.


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