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Islamabad: Use of farmhouses for private ceremonies on the rise

The use of farmhouses in Orchard Scheme near Faizabad for private ceremonies have increased manifold in clear violation of the rules that restrict commercial use of these farms, allotted specifically for agricultural purposes.

Private ceremonies in the capital city are now generally held in such type of venues after the increased security arrangements in local five star hotels that generally cause much inconvenience to the visitors.

According to data provided by Capital Development Authority (CDA), the Orchard Scheme farmhouses of different sizes including those of 20, 40 and 60 canals were generally allotted to the affectees living in Sectors F-10 and F-11 whose land was acquired for launching of new residential sectors. In return, the effectees were bound to ensure the production of fruits, vegetables, and poultry on the farmhouses in line with the specifications given in their respective allotment letters besides their usage for residential purposes.

Most of the farmhouses have only nominal structures including a limited number of washrooms and sitting rooms and instead have beautifully developed lawns that prove to be the main venue generally used for private ceremonies. Hundreds of vehicles are usually parked either inside the green belts or on the roadsides during the ongoing private functions that often are a cause of inconvenience for motorists living in nearby houses.

The farmhouse owners charge Rs30,000, Rs40,000 and Rs80,000 for the 20, 40 and 60 canal farmhouses respectively. Use of musical bands, fireworks and loudspeakers during the marriage ceremonies or musical shows, sometimes, continue till morning prayers that often give sleepless nights to the residents of the area.

Major ® Asad Zahoor, a resident of the area, said the local residents have filed complaints time and again with the concerned authorities against the commercial use of these farmhouses but no one ever pays heed to this issue.

He said two farmhouses near the one allotted to him are often used for marriage ceremonies and other commercial activities, and no action has so far been taken against the owners. He alleged that the brother of a federal minister has also been using his own farmhouses for commercial activities.

Member (Estate) CDA Brig ® Asad Munir told ‘The News’ that notices were served to the owners of two farmhouses last month after some complaints by the local residents.

“The owners have submitted their written answers that are being reviewed by the concerned officials. If non-confirming use of the farmhouses is proved, then their case will be referred to the CDA deputy commissioner for further proceedings,” he said adding that the CDA deputy commissioner has the authority to impose fine or cancel the allotment of the farmhouses in case of their commercial use against rules and regulations.

Asad Munir said CDA never allowed any commercial use of such farmhouses and those who claim to have been authorised are totally wrong.

“CDA is completely alive to its responsibilities and action is always taken in

case of any sort of complaint against the violation of its rules and regulations,” he said.

Source: The News

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