Despite strong opposition from lawmakers, environmentalists and civil society, the capital city bosses are adamant to allow construction in the protected Zone-IV that falls in the national park area.
The cash-strapped civic agency seems to be desprate to tide over its financial crisis and shore up its resources by launching a model hosuing scheme in the protected zone.
Taking cue from a Supreme Court verdict that allowed controlled construction in Zone-IV, Capital Development Authority (CDA) Chairman Imtiaz Inayat Elahi announced laucnhing of Park Enclave housing scheme on Park Road and Chak Shehzad at its intersection with the Kurri Road at a media briefing at Jinnah Convention Centre on Tuesday.
The authority is expecting a revenue of over Rs10 billion from the sale of plots in the first phase of this “environment-friendly scheme”, which will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani during the current month. It equipped with all the modern facilities will be built and another 600 houses in the second phase.
Elahi said that in its recent verdict, the Supreme Court of Pakistan had allowed controlled housing in Zone-IV. Therefore, a zoning plan was prepared having sub-zones for different land uses, including residential use.
The area has been focus of much attention in the recent past, after construction of hotels and restaurants in Zone-II and Zone-IV was questioned by the parliamentarians and the civil society.
“The Zone-IV provides a suburban green environment for its residents and CDA intends to provide them with all the modern civic facilities as they enjoy the natural beauty of open greens and clean air,” Elahi said.
The scheme boasts of an ideal location, according to the CDA chairman, which lies at a distance of just four kilometers from Islamabad Club. Having an intersection of two “spacious” roads, the place is conveniently accessible from all major roads such as Kashmir Highway, Park Road, Lehtrar Road, Kurri Road and Islamabad Highway.
Elahi said the scheme would be developed in two phases. In the first phase, a gated housing scheme comprising of about 700 houses will be developed. More green area has been managed by planning plots of 500 sq yards. They spread on only 40 per cent of the area instead of 55 per cent area currently allowed in Islamabad. The remaining 60 per cent land will be used for roads, green areas and other amenities. In the second phase 600 housing units will be constructed, he said.
Giving a background of the development of housing facilities in the federal capital he said that the city is divided into five main zones speading over a total area of 906 square kilometers. Out of the five main zones, zone-IV covers the largest area of about 70,000 acres.
The project, according to the city managers, would boast of a green and clean environment, civic amenities including mosques, schools, club houses (including facilities of swimming pool, squash, tennis and badminton courts, indoor games and a gym etc). The housing scheme will also have children play land, open air restaurant around the lake with a walking trail, cricket and football ground, shopping malls, modern landscaping and other faculties.
Environment and renewable energy is the added feature of the scheme as it would have zero or least emission houses, biogas generation at combined waste treatment plant, treated effluent for gardening and road washing, solar-powered streetlights and communication panels, solar panels at rooftops for domestic use, solar heaters for water heating and rainwater harvesting for flushing toilets.
It would also be equipped with broadband (telecom, TV and internet) having fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network for all types of communication, telephone network with internal free access, said Elahi.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 4th, 2011.
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