After getting caught up in a controversial case involving the former interior minister’s brother, whose kiosk had encroached a park in Sector F-7, city managers have come up with a comprehensive policy for allotting kiosks in the capital for the first time in five decades.
The new policy states that kiosks will be allotted through open auction, stripping the CDA chairperson and board members of discretionary powers in the allotment process.
According to the new policy, 75 per cent of kiosks will be auctioned while the rest will be allotted to people with disabilities, widows and needy persons after ballotting.
All kiosks in developed markets including Blue Area will be removed according to the new policy, while licences issued to kiosk owners in developed markets will be cancelled in phases. In parks, the maximum size of kiosks will be eight feet by eight feet, while passes for hawkers will not be issued for public parks and protected national parks.
The policy proposes to remove kiosks which have been sublet. “Now it will be mandatory for a license holder to run his kiosk on his own, otherwise his licence will be cancelled,” CDA Member Planning Mustafain Kazmi said.
Kazmi said the new policy would be implemented to restore the beauty of the federal capital. The Directorate of Municipal Administration will only issue open area licences with prior approval from member planning and design.
The policy was formulated after a survey which showed that out of 1,339 kiosks in CDA’s municipal limits, only 539 are licensed. Owners of 279 kiosks, out of the 539, hold location-specific licences. Only four kiosks were allotted after advertising in the national press, while the remaining kiosks were allotted by former CDA chairmen and members of environment and administration wings.
History of kiosks’ allotment
After Islamabad was declared a capital in 1960, makeshift kiosks were established to ensure the availability of items of daily use and edibles to a large number of labourers working in the new city.
In 1979, CDA started to document kiosks after issuing allotment letters to owners. Five years later the authority decided to build shops and give it to licensed kiosk owners who were operating out of mud structures at the time. Some 20 owners were given small shops, while others were allotted A, B and C-type kiosks across the city under this policy.
In 1992, the authority carried out the first survey to ascertain the actual number of kiosks in the city and it was found there were 646 kiosks made of mud and wood.
CDA decided to discontinue the practice of issuing licences as the number of licence seekers was fast increasing. The authority started charging a nominal monthly licence fee in the same year.
Later, CDA decided to remove 646 mud structures after providing the owners with land in the city’s markets, but that did not materialise.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 10th, 2013.
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