Illegal housing societies growing rapidly under CDA’s nose


–Dozens of illegal housing schemes lack schools, parks and graveyards

ISLAMABAD: Illegal housing schemes in the capital are growing rapidly, resulting in the abuse of already-scarce natural resources on one hand and the problems of the citizens, who pay hefty sums for residential plots, on the other, Pakistan Today has learnt.

Recently, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) have been quite active against illegal housing schemes which continue to rob the residents of their hard-earned money and violate the city’s master plan.

More than 150 housing society are located in and around Islamabad, with the majority of them located around Kashmir Highway and Islamabad International Airport. Except for a few well-reputed societies, including DHA, Bahria Town and Naval Anchorage, none of them has a no-objection certificate (NOC) issued to them by the Capital Development Authority (CDA). Despite the fact that these societies lack proper accreditation, the civic agency has been negligent in regulating these societies and they continue to function without proper facilities such as schools, parks and graveyards.

As reported by this daily previously, during the scrutiny of two housing societies located in Zone-2 of Islamabad, it came to the attention of the authorities that the owners of those societies had submitted fake documents of land ownership and were selling plots without any development.

Despite calls of stringent steps taken by the Building Control Section, the administration of 54 other housing societies submitted fake affidavits to CDA, promising to get their residential and commercial constructions approved by the civic agency. It had been estimated that this step would not only generate revenue of Rs2 billion for the agency but would also help regulate the construction and infrastructure of societies.

CDA’s Directorate of Housing Societies, following the footsteps of Planning Directorate, warned the masses to be cautious against housing schemes that claim to exist in the vicinity of the capital. Housing schemes, including Army Welfare Trust, Capital Smart City, Eighteen, Engineers Cooperative Housing Scheme, Faisal Town, Green Town, Gulshan-e-Sehat, Khudadad City, Multi Garden, Veterans Housing Scheme and Wapda Town, do not fall under the precincts of Islamabad as per the map but continue to advertise themselves as part of the federal capital.

It is worth mentioning here that according to CDA Ordinance 1960, Master Plan of Islamabad, The Capital of the Republic (Determination of Area) Ordinance 1963 and ICT Zoning Regulations 1992, Islamabad Capital Territory, the limits of Islamabad terminate after the 17th series of sectors. Therefore, no sector in the south-west of Sectors A-17, B-17, C-17, D-17, E-17, F-17, G-17, H-17 and I-17 is part of Islamabad.