CDA fails to remove commercial setups from residential areas

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The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has virtually failed to purge the residential areas of Islamabad of commercial setups despite launching repeated operations against the violators. Owing to the negligence of the city fathers, the residential sectors of the capital are wearing a commercial look.
The private houses are being used for commercial purposes for many years, but the CDA has been taking a lenient view of the situation. The problem has now become so complicated that the authority finds it difficult to handle. In the past, Islamabad was considered a model city but now every illegal activity can be witnessed here. Sources in the CDA told Pakistan Today that the civic authority has initiated an operation against the violators, but it cannot succeed owing to the inaction of the officials concerned.
They further said that many of the offices in different sectors were run by the influential people who do not allow any official to take action against them. “Though the action had been initiated but it could take a long time before the matter is resolved, the sources added. Most of the people have set up restaurants, guesthouses, offices and showrooms in several residential sectors to save them from commercial tax while commercial activities in these sectors have created problems for the residents in maintaining privacy.
In addition, theft incidents are also being frequently reported. Zahid Akhtar, a resident of Sector G6/2, told Pakistan Today that due to offices in the residential areas, people of different identities visit the area, but street guards cannot stop them. “The fear of theft always lies due to commercial activities in the residential areas,” he said. He called on the authorities to let private houses be for residential purposes only. “The CDA must ensure that all these commercial setups are vacated quickly,” he added.
The CDA, under pressure from the residents, has reportedly been serving notices on all the businesses operating in residential sectors. The residents said the guesthouses were causing the greatest disturbance and claimed that illicit activities were going on there.