ISLAMABAD: A private housing organisation has been charged with building illegally on park land and the “right-of-way” of the Soan River.
According to papers from the Capital Development Authority, a significant housing society has been erecting high-rise commercial structures on the Soan River’s right-of-way, in defiance of its approved layout plan.
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They claimed that according to the authorised layout design, the area where plazas were being built was intended for a park and was the Soan River’s right-of-way.
According to sources in the enforcement division of the authority, the Planning Wing recently requested action to halt unauthorized building because it feared urban flooding, “particularly in the context of flooding in E-11 in 2021 and floods in tourist destinations Bahrain and Kalam last year.”
Officials said they had received a letter stating that, in accordance with an order from the Islamabad High Court (IHC), a team from the CDA had visited the aforementioned society earlier this month and found that, contrary to the layout plan of the aforementioned society that the CDA had approved in 2010 for the said society, about 20 commercial buildings stood constructed on the land and about five more were being built there.
Additionally, CDA representatives displayed the authorized layout plan, in which the area in question was designated as a park and river right-of-way. However, numerous plazas have since been built there, and many more are currently being built.
According to them, the site’s Google picture is equally self-explanatory.
The Planning Wing also requested that the Environment Wing and Building Control Directorate take action against the aforementioned society. Furthermore, a notice was given to the aforementioned society.
Even though the letters were sent out on January 5 and nothing was done about the violations, there are reports that CDA has been under pressure from some quarters to refrain from taking action against the aforementioned society. Some of these reports even claim that indirect action may be taken against those “daring” officials who had brought attention to the violations.
According to a source, some officials “will certainly face the fallout of doing their jobs in the appropriate manner” rather than receiving letters of gratitude.
When reached, Syed Asif Raza, a CDA spokeswoman, verified to Dawn that the letters had been delivered. He also mentioned that the civic organization had recently sent notices to other societies, including the one in question.
When questioned about making some officials the scapegoat, he responded, “Such reports are untrue. Our assets are the people who are working hard. Second, we treat all societies similarly; everyone who violates the law does so.