Centaurus Mall’s illegal billboards costing MCI | Pakistan Today

Centaurus Mall’s illegal billboards costing MCI

  • DMA director admits most of the mall’s boards, panels illegally installed

The Centaurus Mall management, allegedly by bribing Directorate of Municipal Administration’s (DMA) officials, has installed various billboards on the mall’s wall and below the curvy structure of Block A, B and C without getting prior approval i.e. No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the concerned authority, leading to loss of millions of rupees per month, it has been learnt.

“The mall management has compensated the DMA officials due to which they are not taking any action against them,” said an official of Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI), while requesting anonymity.

It is noted that at tower ‘C’, the mall has installed the South East Asia’s ‘biggest’ billboard covering 68,000 square foot on the wall, after getting NOC against 135 million tax per year. The mall management has also advertised three main advertisements illegally.

One advertisement installed is almost 30,000 square foot which is of a garments brand and it is just below the advertisement of DEW in horizontal, second one is installed in the tower ‘A’ near curvy structure [which joins all three towers] of same size, in addition to an illegal display/pasting of VIVO advertisement on top of tower ‘A’ measuring almost 30,000 square foot in the front to F-9, while the authority has taken no action due to which Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) has lost millions of rupees, said sources.

“This is not good. I will look into the matter and direct DMA to act if anyone displays billboards illegally. No one is above the law,” said Mayor cum CDA chief, Sheikh Anser Aziz. He said that strict action would be taken against the DMA officials if found guilty.

In addition to the three illegal mega advertisements, the mall management has also displayed various billboards of different sizes, measuring, 60×20, 40×20, and 20×10, 10×10, etc., below the curvy structure besides, dozens of illegal brand ad panels installed in the basement, which is meant for vehicle parking only.

It may be mentioned here that the Building Control Section (BCS) of the civic management also highlighted in black and white in the partial completion certificate that the said mall management has committed different illegalities, including un-authorised one basement construction, illegal construction of 33 stories versus 29 approved, illegal construction of 185 apartments versus 160 approved, raised height to 422’-0’ versus 390’-0’ approved, unauthorised construction of rooms in southern setback, unauthorised stores towards northern setback, etc.,.

Besides this, mall management has also illegally occupied the adjacent plot and has been using it as a car parking.

The matter is being investigated by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) also.

DMA Director, Ali Sufian admitted that most boards and panels are installed in and around the mall without any prior approval or NOC.

“DMA is looking into the matter and will act accordingly,” he said.

However, when contact was made to Kashif Butt, spokesman of Centaurus Mall, he said that all advertisements are legitimate.

“There is no role of mall management in advertisements, we just provide space, NOC is the requirement of brand/agency, which is displaying its ad,” he said, adding that “no one can display a billboard without getting approval from the concerned authority.”

Farid Sabri

The writer is a member of Pakistan Today's Islamabad bureau. He can be contacted at his email [email protected], and Twitter: @FaridSabri786

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