CDA offers to revise policy on approving layout plans

Officials hold confab with representatives of private housing societies


Shahzad Anwar September 15, 2017
Officials hold confab with representatives of private housing societies. PHOTO: EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) on Thursday joined heads with private housing societies, urging the latter to implement its new standard operating procedures (SOPs) in exchange for revising its policy on approving layout plans (LOPs) for buildings.

CDA arranged a meeting with a large number of private housing societies operating within the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) at the Jinnah Convention Centre on Thursday.

The CDA Director Building Control-II Shafi Marwat briefed representatives of private housing societies about the new SOPs and the authority’s plan to regularise housing societies by enforcing its’ building control regulations.

The CDA official also asked representatives of private housing societies to offer suggestions in this regard and heard their grievances.

Representatives of most housing societies complained against CDA’s Housing Societies Directorate for the inordinate delay in approving maps and layout plans.

Marwat stated that approving building maps was the authority’s mandate, however, some housing societies were approving maps on their own without obtaining No Objection Certificates (NOC) from the authority - which was a grave violation of CDA regulations. Moreover, this was causing the public and the CDA to suffer.

This, Marwat explained, was why the authority had been issuing notices to housing societies, leading to a schism between the civic authority and societies.

“The purpose of activating the building control directorate is to facilitate private housing societies in a bid to provide relief to the public and prevent CDA and private housing societies from future trouble,” Marwat said, adding that CDA was inviting them to approach the authority for getting their maps approved per the outlined process.

He emphasised that no architect had the authority to approve maps of buildings.

Representatives of the societies said that they were facilitating the people, however, the complained that the CDA was painting them as members of the land mafia which was a wrong impression.

They said that if anyone was violating CDA’s by-laws they must be penalised according to CDA regulations. They also demanded that a ban imposed on providing utility connections to private housing societies should be lifted.

At this Marwat clarified that ban had been imposed by the Cabinet in 2004 and not the CDA.

In a bid to control and regularise illegal construction in the city, the CDA is in the process of devising a new mechanism to enforce its building regulations for the past few months.

The regulations would be applicable in ICT and would primarily focus on housing schemes which lie outside of CDA’s schemes.

Previously, due to lax enforcement of the building regulations, the capital had witnessed a mushroom growth of illegal housing societies.

According to CDA Building Regulations 2005, CDA Building Control Directorate has a major role in implementing building by-laws in the capital.

While its jurisdiction extends to the entire ICT, the directorate had previously only enforced its regulations within CDA schemes.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 15th, 2017.

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