The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has in principal decided to change the status of Sector I-17 Islamabad from ‘industrial’ to ‘residential’, the Chairman of the Authority told ‘The News’.

“In fact the ‘I-series’ sectors were all meant to be residential sectors. However, the status of some parts of I-9 and I-10 were declared as ‘industrial’ back in 1980s. Even in the past a few attempts were made to revert the status of these ‘Industrial’ parts of the I-9 and I-10 sector back to ‘Residential’ or at least shift the heavy industries such as the steel re-rolling mills or the iron furnaces and other such industries which were causing heavy atmospheric pollution to the ‘Kahuta Industrial Triangle’,” he added.

“However, all those attempts failed because of one reason or the other these heavy industrial units could not be shifted from the sub-sectors of I-9 and I-10. So, yet in another attempt to shift these industrial units from the heart of the city it was decided in the past to declare Sector I-17 as ‘industrial sector’. But now it was felt that because of the ever increasing demand for residential units in the federal capital it was decided to revert the status of Sector I-17 from ‘Industrial’ to ‘residential’,” he added.

The CDA chairman also said that as the plot size in sector I-17 would also be of economy size, measuring between 25×50 feet to 30×60 feet at the most, the number of residential units created in this sector would be enough to accommodate a large number of aspirants for getting a plot in Islamabad.

The sources in the CDA also told ‘The News’ that the land acquisition process in sector I-17 may be on ‘land-sharing’ basis with the local inhabitants/owners of the area falling under Sector I-17 Islamabad.

“The CDA has a huge liability already to pay cash compensation to a large number of local inhabitants/owners from whom the CDA has acquired land in the past. So, the relevant wings in the CDA are contemplating devising a formula under which instead of paying cash compensation to the people from whom the land would be acquired, they may be allotted residential and commercial plots in the same or other sectors,” the sources in the CDA told ‘The News’.

The sources in the CDA also told ‘The News’ that another move under active consideration of the CDA Board to turn at least one sub-sector of sector I-16, which was reserved for ‘Educational Institutions’, into residential area.

“This step is being pondered upon because the development cost of this sector (I-16) is very high while the land to the educational institutions has been allotted at subsidized rates. The revenue generated through the sale of land to the educational institutions in sector I-16 is not enough to implement the required development work in the sector,” the sources said.

“If the proposal to turn one sub-sector of Sector I-16 Islamabad into residential was approved, it is expected that enough funds could be generated through the sale of residential plots in that part of Sector I-16 that would be enough to accomplish the development work in the sector,” the sources said.