CDA looks to limit high-rises to five storeys

Published: June 13, 2018
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Islamabad city. PHOTO: FILE

Islamabad city. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: The top civic agency in the capital is in the process of devising new rules to regulate high-rises being built along major abutting roads, limiting them to just five storeys.

“We are in the process of making regulations for major abutting roads and likely will allow ground plus five storeys along the Grand Trunk Road and Islamabad Expressway,” Capital Development Authority (CDA) Member Planning Asad Mehboob Kiyani told The Express Tribune.

Plan to build high rises in place of govt residences

He further said that the authority is also devising a mechanism to regulate existing high-rises in the capital, especially those along the GT Road and other major abutting roads.

However, sources privy to internal affairs told The Express Tribune on the condition of anonymity that the rules were being framed to favour the owners of those high-rise buildings who will avail private consultative services from CDA officials for construction of their buildings in violation of zoning regulations.

Moreover, the official claimed that buildings plans were being approved without bothering to check for the provision of utility services in the area such as water, sewerage lines, gas and other allied utility services and parking space.

Some CDA officials alleged that the planning wing was framing rules to give a clean chit to some high-rises which have already been built along the GT Road illegally.

“If CDA allows a building to be built more than five storeys tall along these abutting roads, it would be a devastating measure which would not only create immense pressure upon the already stressed utility services, but also increase traffic congestions on roads and multiply the parking problems along the abutting roads,” CDA officials feared.

Despite the presence of Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Zoning Regulations 1992 and the Islamabad Building Control Regulation 2005, officials claim a majority of buildings being built in the capital have failed to seek CDA’s approval.

According to documents from the CDA planning wing, there are around 145 buildings located on the GT Road in Zone-V. Of these, construction work is continuing on 46 of these.

The CDA, though, has issued notices to and sealed only 48 buildings, while the rest continue with illegal constructions.

Remnants of time: Pre-partition buildings in dilapidated state

Recently, the CDA Building Control Section-III had launched a crackdown against certain buildings located on GT Road. However, only the strip of GT Road from Soan River to Rawat was focused while buildings along different major roads in Zone-V, including Kahuta Road, Japan Road near Kak Pul, and a stretch of Islamabad Highway, were ignored by the building regulators.

Another CDA source said that some CDA officials are operating a private business by making maps against lucrative fees from private building owners which had forced CDA officials to compromise over zoning regulations and refraining from taking any punitive action against violators.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 13th, 2018.

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