Owners of unauthorised buildings to benefit from CDA’s new by-laws

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ISLAMABAD: Unauthorised buildings constructed in Zone II, IV and V will be regularised by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) in accordance with the new by-laws as notified by the Islamabad Capital Territory Residential Sectors Zoning (Building Control) Regulations 2020.

Prior to this, almost 200 owners had applied to regularise the unauthorised buildings. However, the appeal was terminated by the Islamabad High Court via a judgement that declared unauthorised buildings in the capital cannot be regularised until Islamabad’s master plan is revised by a commission of experts.

Regularisation of construction in Zone II, IV and V were then approved by the commission formed on the directives of the Federal Government.

Even though illegal housing developments will not be regularised as per the new by-laws announced by the authority, applications regarding the construction of homes and buildings on private land can be entertained

Regarding unplanned construction in the capital, “The owner will submit an undertaking that in future, if directed by the authority, then the owner shall be bound to bring the structure in conformity with requirements of that area.” stated the new regulations.

The minimum width of streets in the areas of unauthorised construction will be 30 feet, while mandatory plans for drainage and sewerage will also be included.

Commenting on the matter, a CDA official explained, “These by-laws and modalities shall not be construed as an umbrella for the constructions that have been made in violation of the zoning regulations or illegal constructions.”

Each submitted application will be reviewed by the authority in accordance with the merit and zoning regulations. The applicant will be bound to remove any illegal or unauthorised construction not aligned with the regulations.

Applications submitted for regularisation must include a number of land ownership documents, a site plan that shows access from the existing revenue road, building plans prepared by an architect enlisted by the CDA and structural drawings and designs along with structural soundness and stability certificates from a structural engineer enlisted by the CDA. Moreover, it would also be necessary for the applicants to attach a plan for the disposal of sewage and solid waste management and an undertaking to deposit conversion and development charges as determined and demanded by the CDA.

The application scrutiny fee is Rs6 per square feet of the covered area of the building and the regularisation fee is Rs100 per sq feet of covered area.

As per sources, the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) for Marakiz has been set at 1:6 for a plot larger than 1,000 square yards and 1:5 for a plot measuring 1,000 sq yards. Meanwhile, the FAR for plots between 3,000 sq yards and 5,000 sq yards will be 1:9 and 1:10 for 5,000 sq yards and above it will be 1:10.

For the northern strip in Blue Area, the FAR has been increased from 1:8 to 1:10, while for the southern strip it has been increased to 1:6 from 1:5.

To accommodate industries and trade centres, an additional story has been approved, the sources said. They added that the CDA by-laws for Marakiz will also be applicable to housing societies.

The new by-laws announced on Dec 26, 2019, will be applicable from Jan 1, 2016, onwards. Buildings under-construction and to be constructed will benefit from the by-laws.

The by-laws approved for Zone II, IV and V include Islamabad Expressway, Park Road, G.T. Road, Lehtrar Road, Kahuta Road, Kuri Road and Fatehjang Road. Various schools, hospitals, hotels, motels and marquees also fall under the umbrella of the approved by-laws.

Owners of commercial buildings have been issued notices to construct parking lots on elevated storeys – such as the second or third storey.

Construction of staircase towers, also known as a mumty, on one-fourth of the ground construction coverage has also been approved under the by-laws.

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