CDA’s key wing fails to stop illegal constructions


ISLAMABAD: The question that reared its head after the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and the district administration undertook a grand operation against marques and showrooms along the Kashmir Highway was that under whose watch these marquees were allowed to be made in the first place.

Pakistan Today probed the matter and asked the officials in the civic agency, many of whom agreed to spill the beans on condition of anonymity. Since the new government has taken the reigns of the affair in its hand and with new state minister and CDA chairman in place, the CDA’s Enforcement Directorate is seen busy in conducting anti-encroachment operations in different areas.

Recently, a grand anti-encroachment operation was conducted near H-13 and G-12 to get the right of way back from the illegal occupation of marquees, petrol filling stations, illegal branch of a foreign food chain and commercial owners. It is pertinent to mention that G-12 commonly known as Meeran Abadis is located in Zone-I where all transfer of land has to be attested and verified by CDA.

The marquees and showrooms were violating this SOP along with illegal constructions on the right of way. The rampant encroachment and illegal construction is first and foremost a failure on part of the Urban Planning Directorate that is tasked to undertake forward planning within the framework of the existing master plan of the urban area and to evaluate the requirements and determine the relationship between various land-uses.

However, the Urban Planning Directorate has failed to live up to appraise the quantitative and qualitative aspects of the proposals for land utilisation in the sectoral area of Islamabad and to monitor the development within the urban area along with responding to trends in the development. The perennial rift between Building Control Directorate-I and Building Control Directorate-II deal with matters related to building a structure, maps, structure drawing, map, architecture drawings, issuance of NOC, the site inspection of the commercial and residential property.

The BCS-II is tasked with implementation of the Building Code of Pakistan 2007 in Islamabad and implementation of the Building & Zoning Regulation 2005 and checking and vetting of structure designs and drawings as per standards with the help of the software and techniques. The section is also responsible to check the construction work of all commercial and high-rise projects and ensuring the quality of work.

The Enforcement Directorate, on the other hand, is primarily trusted with assisting the BCS and other factions to provide manpower and machinery to raze encroachments and enforce busking regulations. “The BCS is tasked with approving maps, ensuring conformity of law and ensuring that no illegal construction is to be allowed in the sectors and zones under CDA domain,” a CDA official said.

The Enforcement Directorate, on the other hand, is tasked with assisting the other directorates. “The examples of Safa Gold, Centaurus and Grand Hyatt are a case in point where BCS failed to do its job while Enforcement Directorate was later on roped in to do the dirty job,” he said, adding that this passing of responsibility should end if the encroachments were to end.