Pakistan News

Summary seeks new commission to revise Islamabad’s master plan

ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has decided to bring improvements to the building control regulations 2020.

Moreover, a summary has been sent to the federal government for formation of a new commission to revise the master plan of Islamabad.

A seven-member committee headed by the director general design has been working to finalise the changes. CDA officials said the building control regulations needed to be reviewed as it had several missing links.

Citing examples, an officer said three years were required for the construction of buildings on all sizes of plots. In this case, there was a need to make new regulations in accordance with the size of plots. Similarly, in the existing regulations, the CDA was bound to approve or reject a building plan within 21 days after submission, and in the new proposed bylaws it has been proposed that the fate of the building plan should be decided in 10 days.

Seven-member committee working to finalise changes to building control regulations, says official

The official said the existing bylaws stated that in case parking requirements due to enhancement in the floor area ratio (FAR) were not possible within the building size, the owners could submit an undertaking to the authority that they would be bound to pay any charges as determined by the authority for development of public parking. The official said this was a vague clause as mere submission of undertaking was not a solution.

“Under new proposals we are going to delete this clause and now the developers will be asked to ensure parking facility within their building limits,” he said.

Another officer said that there were some typos and other issues which needed clarity. “So in new proposals, all such issues will be addressed,” he said.

It is relevant to note here that the bylaws were finalised by a commission formed by former prime minister Imran Khan in December 2018 for revision of Islamabad’s master plan. However, the commission after finalising these regulations and preparing an interim report left the revision of the master plan to an international consultant, who is yet to be hired.

When contacted, Member Planning Waseem Hayat Bajwa said that the committee had been working to make changes to the building control regulations 2020 to bring clarity.

He said after the said regulations, the CDA board also made several decisions such as one related to major roads.

“Therefore, we want to incorporate all board decisions regarding building regulations into the amended regulations. In new regulations, we will protect the right of the authority and the public as well,” he said.

The member planning said that before finalising the proposals the committeewill take all stakeholders on board.

“We will get input from experts and developers as well,” he said and added that once changes were made, the regulations would be made available on CDA’s website to help people particularly overseas Pakistanis to know the regulations and bylaws before purchasing plots.

Asked about the delayed revision of master plan, the member said that after joining the CDA a few months ago he had sent a summary to the federal government for formation of a new commission as many previous members were no longer available. He said that the previous commission in its interim report had covered many things while a professional consultant will be hired for a comprehensive revision of the master plan.

The PTI government was the third in the country’s history that tried to revise the capital’s master plan but could not get it completed during its three and half years tenure.

In December 2018, the then government had formed the commission to revise the master plan. Prime Minister Imran Khan held several meetings on the matter but the commission could not complete its task.

The Greek Firms, Doxiadis Associates, which had prepared the master plan, had recommended its revision after every 20 years in accordance with the need of time. However, no serious effort was made and successive governments kept focusing on making selected changes to the master plan through the federal cabinet. Sources said so far 42 changes had been made by successive governments without any input from professional firms. The PTI government also made a few selected changes to the master plan.

Published in Dawn, December 9th, 2022

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