ISLAMABAD – “Seriousness” of the Capital Development Authority to curb the use of residential units for commercial purposes is witnessed from the fact that during year 2010, the civic agency did not carryout any survey of residential areas to ascertain the scale of this illegal practice.

“The Authority is relaying on previous data, it had compiled in year 2009, following the directions of Senate Standing Committee on Interior. I cannot give you the most recent statistics in this regard,” said an official of the concerned directorate.

The Capital Development Authority (CDA) virtually seems incapacitated to shun the ongoing practice of non-confirming use of residential units across the Federal Capital resulting unexampled surge in violations.
According to record compiled by the Building Control Directorate in 2009, 835 houses were being used commercially in residential areas of the Capital. 345 houses out of 835 were being used as offices of international organisations including 91 foreign embassies, 97 as guesthouses, six as restaurants, 259 as schools and 128 for other businesses such as beauty parlours and clinics.

When asked why CDA had not carried out any survey during the whole year, a top official of the building control directorate in a bizarre style said, “It is a continuous offence and Authority time-to-time serve notices to the violators, however, it is practically impossible to implement the defined penalties under CDA’s 1993 byelaws in this regard.”

Another official said that it was a matter of grave concern that hundreds of cases were laying pending in this regard with the courts of law as violators after receiving notices from CDA managed to get stay orders on one or the other pretext.