Special Assistant to Punjab Chief Minister (SACM) Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan has said that the Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) is making all-out efforts to fulfil the housing needs of nearly six million people belonging to six tehsils of the Rawalpindi district. There is a shortage of nearly two million houses in the district, she added.
Addressing a press conference at the RDA office on Thursday, she maintained that the authority is working to launch an affordable housing society and provide relief to the citizens.
Dr Firdous informed reporters that some 264 housing societies were declared illegal by the authority of which, she said, 100 are non-existent as they sold out the plots despite not having any land to give out.
The advisor said that as per the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan, RDA had launched a crackdown against fake and illegal housing societies and the cases were sent to the authorities concerned for legal action. Overall, the offices of 135 housing schemes were sealed by RDA.
The authority also forwarded information about fake housing projects to the National Accountability Bureau for initiating legal action, she added.
Dr Firdous said that overseas Pakistanis were also apprised not to invest in illegal housing projects and check their status before investment as RDA had uploaded all details about legal and illegal housing projects on its official website.
The advisor said RDA had also set a time frame for the issuance of NOCs and approvals for building plans to promote construction activity in the city. She added that the authority had decided to take disciplinary action against officers failing to approve building plans in the communicated time frame for applicants who complete the related documentation process.
She said that the implementation of new standard operating procedures (SOPs) for approval of residential and commercial projects helped promote construction activities in the district.
The process of land record digitisation is also under way, which would help keep Rawalpindi's real estate data safe, she added.
Dr Firdous further informed that the approval of the projects is now given within a fixed time frame which is not only a great facility for the citizens but also helps in increasing the revenue of the authority.
She stated that RDA approved as many as 1,300 building plans during one year under a transparent procedure while the submission of the building plans and the entire process was made online. She said that RDA introduced reforms in the organisation and digitalisation proved a great facility for the citizens and ensured transparency.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 25th, 2021.
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