ISLAMABAD: In an expected move, the board of the civic authority on Monday approved new regulations to register the host of marriage halls and marquees which have popped up in and around the capital.
In what was the first meeting of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) Board for 2018, the apex policy-making body of the authority approved the by-laws and parameters for setting up marriage, event halls and marquees in the city. Moreover, it gave permission for auctioning commercial plots while approving the layout plan of Mouza Chatta Bakhtawar Zone-IV Islamabad for the King Hamad University.
Last week, the Supreme Court of Pakistan had directed the CDA to have its board endorse a set of new rules for regularising marriage halls and marquees in the capital.
Previously, there were no standard parameters, regulations or by-laws for marriage halls and marquees in the city and were then set up illegally in Sector E-11, and along the Kashmir Highway, GT Road, and Park Road.
According to a CDA survey, there are around 70 marriage halls and marquees which are functioning in these areas without any approval from the authority.
These halls were set up using steel structures or concrete single to multi-storey buildings.
To process the approval of new marriage, event halls and marquees and to regularise existing halls and marquees, the CDA Board approved the new laws which mandate that halls must be built over a minimum of area of 2,000 square yards, with maximum ground coverage of 50 per cent.
Moreover, halls have been capped at a maximum of two storeys with maximum floor area Ratio (FAR) of 1:1 with a minimum of 30 feet left on the front, and 15 feet on the sides and rear. Further, the hall must keep parking space for every 250 square feet of gross covered area whereas basement would be allowed for car parking only and a minimum frontage of 100 feet and an access road of at least 60 feet.
Moreover, a marquee would be a large tent set up for an outdoor event such as wedding, meetings and such. Made up of temporary steel structures and fire-retardant materials, it too would be built over a minimum area of 2,000 square yards with maximum ground coverage of 50 per cent including kitchen and other amenities. Its minimum setbacks will be the same as the wedding halls.
The CDA Board has decided that owners or operators of existing marriage halls and marquees would be advised to have their structures regularised within six months.
The board also approved the auction of 46 commercial plots of different categories and sizes including commercial, apartments, hotels and hospital.
A list of 50 commercial plots of different categories in different commercial centres had been placed before board for approval including plots in Blue Area, Sector F-10 Markaz, Sector G-11/3, Sector G-11 Markaz , Sector G-11, Sector D-12, Sector I-8 Markaz, Sector D-12/2, Firdous Market, Sector F-6/2, Sector F-8/4, Sector F-8/10, Sector G-11/3, Sector I-8/2, Sector H-11/4, Sector I-11/4, Sector I-14/3, Margala Town Phase-II, Shahzad Town, Sector F-5/1, Sector F-11 Markaz and Sector I-8/4.
The auction for commercial plots has been scheduled for March 20 to 22.
The case of re-demarcation of land for the King Hamad University in Chatta Bakhtawar was placed before the CDA Board for the approval on Thursday.
The case was presented in light of a report submitted by the CDA revenue staff.
The total area of the hospital was increased to 656 kanals, up from the initial allocation of 522 kanals.
Out of the upgraded allocation of 656 kanals, 237 kanals are proposed to be used for building the campus of the King Hammad Medical Nursing University. The proposal suggests that the remaining 419 kanals will be used for residential and commercial blocks. As many as 717 residential plots are planned to be carved out.
However, the board was told that the topographic survey of the additional 134 kanals of the area being allocated the university has yet to be carried out due to resistance from locals.
According to the CDA Land Survey Division, there were reports that some graves fell in the area which would be used to build the university on.
In April 2016, the CDA Board had approved construction of the King Hamad University of Nursing and Medical Sciences over an area measuring 237 kanals along Park Road in Zone-IV of Islamabad.
Since a number of built-up structures fell under the approved site, south of Down Town Scheme.
With some parts overlapping with the Down Town scheme including some structures, land for the university has been adjusted.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 13th, 2018.