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Islamabad: No action taken against commercial use of houses

ISLAMABAD: Capital Development Authority (CDA) has so far failed to take action against the owners whose house are being used for commercial purposes, creating security problems and a shortage of houses in the capital.

“Illegal use of residential houses is increasing shortage of houses and creating security problems. Most residential houses are being used as illegal guesthouses and restaurants, where record of visitors is not maintained properly,” a senior CDA official told Daily Times.

He said Senate Standing Committee on Interior had directed Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration and the CDA in November, 2008, to take action against owners of those houses which were being used as massage centres, brothels and bars. He said the CDA and ICT administration had so failed to act upon the directives.

He said the lack of action in this regard served to increase real estate prices and promote illegal practices in residential areas,

He said the CDA’s relevant directorate only issued notices to violators, adding CDA deputy commissioner (DC) had also imposed Rs 500,000 fine on every violator and directed the CDA to collect fines within 20 days.

According to rules, if a violator fails to pay the fine within 20 days, the case is referred to senior special magistrate but the CDA had not yet referred a single case to the magistrate.

The official said according to a survey conducted by CDA’s Building Control Structure (BCS) Directorate, around 791 houses were being used for commercial purposes in the residential areas. Out of 791, 325 houses are being used for offices of various organisation, 87 for guesthouses, four for restaurants, 255 for schools and 124 for such businesses as beauty parlours and clinics in violation of CDA building byelaws, he said.

He said under the Islamabad Residential Sectors Zoning Regulation 2005, there was a ban on non-conforming use of the residential houses, violation of which can lead to cancellation of plot allotment.

Source: Daily Times

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