Sector E-11 builders given ‘free hand’ in guise of regularisation

  • Illegal constructions to be ‘regularised’ after payment of paltry penalties and other charges


ISLAMABAD: City managers have decided to ‘resolve’ the perennial issue of illegal constructions of multi-storey apartment buildings in Sector E-11 by deciding to regularise them after payment of fees, charges, fines and paltry penalties in a board meeting held last week, according to documents available with Pakistan Today.

According to the summary of the board meeting, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) has decided to amend its Zoning Control Policy (ZCP) of 2007 for Sector E-11 after thorough deliberation.

The Board while showing the willingness to regularise apartment complexes, has approved layout plans of Khudadad Heights, Capital Residencia, and Meridian Heights. It must be noted that these apartment buildings are already built, functional and occupied.

“All apartment/flats projects other than the listed above in the un-acquired area of Sector E-11 do not have any approval of CDA and are illegal, unauthorised, and unlawful,” the summary reads.

It is pertinent to mention here that in October-November 2017, CDA started issuing notices to builders and owners and proceeded to seal the buildings in order to stop further construction.

The authority also issued a standard operating procedure (SOP) for approval of buildings on un-acquired land in Zone-II, IV, V and Sector E-11.

On sealing of premises, sponsors started to submit documents for the Building Plan Approval (BPA).

According to the amended version of the new ZCP, a penalty of Rs1.6 million for one deficient car parking, submission of bank guarantee at 10pc of the construction cost of the project building along with the cost of any other necessary improvement measures carried out by CDA to facilitate the area will also be borne by the developer.

Sector E-11 enjoys exceptional status in Zone-I as it is partially exempted from acquisition due to the presence of Golra Village and Darbar but it has been inundated with illegal multi-storey buildings, rampant encroachments, conversion of amenity plots into residential land by private societies.

The sector suffers from a housing shortage, lack of infrastructure, traffic congestion, rampant land speculation, improper accessibility, uneven skyline, mixed land uses and haphazard growth of multi-storey buildings.

Officials at CDA said that the authority had decided to take strict action against irregular and illegal construction in other parts of the city as well. However, the axe is yet to fall on marquees and apartment in E-11, where different housing societies have so far dodged bylaws applicable to other sectors managed by the CDA.

It is pertinent to mention that many of the businesses had moved to Sector E-11 after a rampant operation against non-conforming use all over the city, where commercial activities in residential areas were banned.

E-11 is now home to many private housing societies like National Police Foundation, Multi Professional Cooperative Housing Society, Federal Employees Cooperative Housing Society and Services Societies.

Furthermore, around a dozen marquees also appeared on the borders of the sector that is all set to take due and undue advantage of not being under the watch of CDA’s bylaws, as the laws that regulate the building control in sectors of CDA don’t apply as strictly as in the sector E-11.

While talking to Pakistan Today, CDA Member Planning Asad Mehboob Kiyani said, “In the light of Supreme Court verdict, we are under orders to regularise the constructions all over the city and soon we will go to other areas of Islamabad and will rid the city of illegal constructions and encroachments.”