Although little action has been taken against 100-plus illegal housing schemes operating in Islamabad, city managers on Wednesday issued new planning guidelines and by-laws for private land developers.
The guidelines aim “to streamline the affairs of the private housing schemes”, according to a senior CDA planning wing official. The new planning parameters provides for future development of housing schemes in strict accordance with CDA by-laws, and to ensure provision of all required facilities such as open and green spaces, playgrounds, solid waste collection, availability of potable water, and other conditions.
The CDA has also increased the fees it collects from private land developers under different heads by up to 150 per cent.
The authority has also decided that it would ensure approval of layout plan of any proposed society within a period of one month following submission as long as all codal formalities are met.
According to CDA records, there are 163 housing colonies within its municipal limits 109 of which are illegal.
According to the new by-laws, it is mandatory for private land developers to earmark 10 to 20 per cent of the total residential area of a housing colony for smaller plots to meet the needs of lower-income groups.
“Plots not exceeding 130 square yards should be developed on 10 to 20 per cent of the total residential area of a colony so that low income groups can be adjusted in these schemes,” said a planning wing official. He said that decision had been taken as private land developers usually do not offer plots under 500 square yards.
New by-laws also provides for earmarking of 500 square-yards against every 1,000 housing units for temporary storage of the solid waste generated by the society.
The developers have been directed that to also provide cutoff dates at the time of submission of layout plans for the completion of development work at their respective societies. It has also been decided that the CDA would hire the services of firms to carry out third-party vetting of civil works at new schemes.
The layout plan scrutiny fee has been increased from Rs1,210 per kanal to Rs3,000 per kanal, the design scrutiny fee from Rs302 per kanal to Rs350 per kanal, and the inspection and monitoring fee has increased from Rs605 to Rs1,500 per kanal.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 25th, 2015.