In a historic milestone, city administrators agreed Thursday to hand over municipal powers of two Islamabad areas to the Rawalpindi Cantonment Board.
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Sources claimed the Capital Development Authority (CDA) board, chaired by retired Captain Anwarul Haq, authorized a summary to transfer H-14 (full) and H-13 (partially) municipal functions to the RCB.
The sources said RCB claimed I-12, G-13, G-13, H-13, H-15, and I-14 in Islamabad. RCB believed these areas were their pre Islamabad. Thus, they were Rawalpindi civic agency members.
“In 1961, when the capital moved from Karachi to Islamabad, the federal government established the CDA and notified its municipal boundary limits through an ordinance. CDA boundaries defaulted into RCB at that time.
No boundaries will alter, however RCB can enforce municipal ordinances in H-14 and 20pc of H-13.
However, the Cantonments Act 1924 required federal notification to change cantonment boundaries. A meeting brief from the RCB stated that no such notification has been provided in this matter.
It said the contested area was 2,509 acres and that RCB survey sheets from 1964, 1977, 1980, and 1985 proved the board should have jurisdiction.
The argument noted that jurisdictional concerns and the filing of litigation in Islamabad’s high court and district courts had resulted from the overlap. All parties have disputed the RCB municipal limit.
The CDA claimed that the regions belonged to Islamabad because the government finalised the federal capital’s boundaries in 1963.
According to sources, CDA and RCB met several times since 2017 and negotiated a resolution to keep the limits.
However, the RCB could enforce its municipal rules in H-14 (whose majority of army installations was already with the Defence Ministry) and the 20% of H-13 surrounding the installations. The RCB will not claim ownership of these sectors, either.
According to sources, the CDA board resolved to bring the situation to the federal government and requested many adjustments to Islamabad’s master plan for the areas.
Additionally, the board reviewed a summary on “allocation of plots for Special Investment Facilitation Council (SFIC)” for foreign direct investment.
The CDA listed 12 plots, seven commercial in F-8 Blue Area and four for private hospitals in various localities.
The sources said the CDA could not sell its commercial plots, but the board may sell them to pre-qualified parties. The board resolved to sell two hospital plots and four commercial plots with SIFC for direct foreign investment and federal government participation.
The board also established a policy to enable certain commercial activity on rooftops of commercial buildings on restaurant plots.
The board approved using commercial and hotel rooftops for dining and sports like futsal, swimming pools, mini-golf, tennis, and badminton. This only applies to Marakiz and Blue Area commercial (general) and hotel buildings under particular conditions.
The board also authorized a parking lot revenue-sharing summary with digital solution providers.