The lure of Zone-IV: Bahria Town takes the better of CDA’s plans

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ISLAMABAD: Park Enclave, the project that was being termed as the Capital Development Authority’s lifeline for the next fiscal year, has suffered a blow just when it was about to take off.

The “posh” housing scheme in the Zone-4 of the federal capital suffered a setback after Bahria Town announced a housing scheme “Bahria Enclave” parallel to the site for the CDA’s project.
CDA’s scheme boasts of plots of 500 square yard with each plot costing Rs15 million. Bahria Enclave offers same sized plots on half the prices.

Thursday saw the first advertisements of the Bahria Town project appear in the print media; and the housing society did manage to create some interest.

A source close to the developments hinted at the involvement of authority’s Planning Directorate officials in what they called a “timely conspiracy” hatched against CDA. He further maintained that the project location showed by the Bahria Town administration in advertisements was at a site owned by CDA.

“The site of enclave advertised by the Bahria Town belongs to CDA. Bahria Town does not own enough land in Zone-IV where they can announce such a scheme, however they do have some land near Simly Dam,” the CDA official added.

“Bahria Town has not submitted any layout plan of their proposed housing colony with the authority and they did not obtain any prior permission to publish ads in newspapers,” the official said.

CDA has not issued any warning letters to the Bahria Town administration, the official said; however, he added that they were planning to serve a public notice to the private enterprise through newspapers soon.

This latest controversy makes the task of city managers all the more difficult. A top CDA official blamed the controversy on CDA’s “confused policy” on construction in the prohibited area of the National Park.

Recently, the names of top CDA officials also surfaced before the Supreme Court in the multi-billion land purchase scam of housing ministry in Zone-IV. The civic body received hundreds of applications and was predicting that the housing project will be a great success. Interestingly, July 30 was set as the last date for filing the applications by CDA and Bahria Enclave set the date 10 days earlier, with July 20 as the deadline.

In its budget for fiscal year of 2011-12, CDA had set aside Rs4 billion as minimum revenue generation from Park Enclave. The city managers were expecting to generate Rs10 billion from the first phase by selling 700 plots, and another 600 in phase-II. Equipped with modern facilities, the scheme is located on Park Road at its intersection with Kurri Road.

Construction in Zone-IV, prohibited before, was allowed after the cabinet’s approved it in 2010 . “Ironically CDA itself becomes the first prey to controversial amendments it had made in capital’s zoning regulations with special regard to Zone-IV,” said an official.

Ramzan Sajid said that CDA did not issue NOC to anyone for housing scheme in Zone-IV, so CDA warned Bahria Town administration to not mislead the people.

If they do not stop then strict disciplinary action would be taken against Bahria Town administration, he said. Responding to a question, he said that he was not aware if Bahria Town had already done construction in the area or purchased land there.

A CDA official said that “it is very much clear” that to make Park Enclave successful, CDA will not give permission to anyone to set up a scheme parallel to it.

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The lure of Zone-IV: Bahria Town takes the better of CDA’s plans
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