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Excess covered area and non-conforming use of land: Notices served on farmhouse owners

ISLAMABAD, Sept 26: The city managers have declared 46 palatial farmhouses in Islamabad to be under ‘excess covered area’ and ‘non-conforming use of land’. However, action could not be taken against most of the violators despite Supreme Court orders; said a report submitted to the apex court.

The report prepared by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) said notices had been served on the violators and a committee was examining the cases ‘thoroughly’.

However, a senior official of the civic body on condition of anonymity said ‘powerful’ agro-farm owners were using their influence and had managed to avoid action against them.

The report based on a fresh survey said 15-day notice had been issued to the violators a month back. However, no action was being taken against them.

“The 15-day written notice required the persons, who had carried out such building works, to state in writing subscribed by him or by an agent duly authorised by him and addressed to the authority, to show sufficient cause why such constructions or such parts thereof shall not be removed or altered to comply with the regulations. In case of non-compliance with the notice, a seven-day show-cause notice is served on them which requires them to attend personally or through an agent to show sufficient cause why such building works or parts thereof shall not be removed or altered. In case, a violation is not removed, the authority may remove or altered the building works or any part thereof and the expenses thus incurred shall be paid by such persons.”

The report said of the 46 cases of violations 26 related to excess covered area and 18 to non-conforming use of agriculture and farm land.

The official said 18 cases of non-conforming use of land had been referred to the CDA deputy commissioner of which four had been decided by imposing Rs0.5 million penalty. He said 10 cases were under trial, two cases disposed of after removal of violations and other two were yet to be sent to the DC.

Initially, the CDA had allowed 2,700 square feet covered area in the farmhouses to construct office of the manager of the farm. But the size of approved covered area kept increasing and now palatial buildings with 12,500 feet covered areas in addition a basement have been allowed turning the farms into residential areas for the rich and the powerful.

The CDA had allotted farmhouses to cater to the need of fruits, vegetables and poultry in the federal capital but with the passage of time these farms were purchased by elite class who built palatial houses there.

Of the 526 owners of farmhouses, few do grow some vegetables and exotic fruits like strawberries but that seemingly to cover up the country houses that they have built on them.

The farmhouse owners who have been served notices for violations are: Raja Mohammad Saleem (plot No 13), Raja Rashid Hafeez (16), Mehtab Khan (16-A), Sheikh Abdul Razzaq and others (17), Fatima Kazmi (20), Mohsin Usman Abbasi (34), Abdul Razzaq and others (39), Humaira Amjad (41-F), Mohammad Altaf (42), Raja Mohammad Hanif Abbasi (44), Mohammad Ilyas and Nadeem Sheikh (44-A), Sadia Batool Gilani (45), Liaquat Ali (57), Col (retired) Mohammed Bashir Ali (58-A), Aftab Ahmed and others (59-A), Maj (retired) Asad Zahoor (61), Bilal Hussain (plot A-31), Maryum Ali (A-26), Mujeebur Rehman (B-10/A), Hamid Mir (B-20), Allah Rakhi and others (B-38), Mohammad Saddique and others (B-42), Sameer Atta Saeed (C-4), Abdul Raziq (C-12/A-2), Malik Sohrab Khan (C-6), Rahim Hayyat Qureshi (B-26), Azam Jan and others (6), Abdul Sattar (1-B), Amir Shafi Mughal (8), Malik Taj Khan (21), Mohammad Fayyaz/Mohammad Irshad (25), Ranaz Hussain (30), Ghazala Nargis (34), Raja Mumtaz (4), Adnan Basher (9), Irfanul Haq Alvi and others (11), Kamal Raza Ibrahim (41), Farhan Sadiq and others (45), Javed Sadiqui (54), Ruqaya Hussain (12), Mian Mohammad Aslam (68) and Mohammad Hussain Shah (32),

It may be recalled that Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry had started action against the farmhouses in the year 2007 and a big exercise was conducted to ascertain the status of the farmhouses through CDA. However, the operation was halted midway when Justice Chaudhry was removed by former President Pervez Musharraf.

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