–Building Control Section issued final notices to owners on March 26
ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) is all set to demolish more than a dozen illegal marquees and marriage halls located in different vicinities of Islamabad as the deadline given to the owners near.
On March 26, the Building Control Section had issued notices to marquees and wedding halls located in various sectors including H-13, G-12 and H-13 along the Kashmir Highway, and in Bani Gala as well.
It is pertinent to mention here that according to the Islamabad Capital Development Zoning Regulations (ICDZR) 1992, no wedding hall or a marquee can be constructed in sectors H and G. The H-sectors are exclusively earmarked for hospitals and educational institutes, while sector G-12 is illegally occupied by the locals despite the fact that its award has been finalised three decades back.
Already, CDA has announced the SOPs for regularisation of various marquees. The civic agency aims to bag hundreds of million rupees by regularising marquees and marriage halls. It is estimated that around 60 marquees and marriage halls will be regularised. However, in order to qualify for regularisation, the marquees and marriage halls need to conform to the zoning regulations.
Interestingly, since 2014, CDA has repeatedly taken action against illegal construction and non-conforming use of residential premises that was underway since long. Recently, Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) has not only ordered the authorities at CDA to take indiscriminate action against encroachments and commercial activities in Islamabad but also regularise the construction all over the city.
Sector E-11, Sector G-12 and areas around the Islamabad Expressway and Kashmir Highway are relatively new vicinities of the capital and have accommodated and absorbed many restaurants, boutiques, marquees, marriage halls, media houses and other outlets after CDA served them eviction notices for a non-conforming use. Also, due to lack of checks and balances by the CDA, owners prefer these areas more than sectors maintained, managed and run by the civic agency.
While talking to Pakistan Today, Building and Control Section (BCS) Deputy Director, Tauqeer Nawaz said that his directorate is after the illegal marquees and marriage halls since 2008. ‘The delays happen because many of the owners get stays from courts. And in front of courts, our hands are tied. However, we are all set to demolish them and have already done so with 4 of marriage halls in recent past,’ he said.
When contacted, CDA spokesperson, Malik Saleem said that authority has already issued the notices and once the time is given to marquees and marriage halls lapse, action will be taken against them. ‘We have a zero-tolerance policy towards encroachments and illegal construction. The enforcement and BCS are busy around the clock to rid the city of these blemishes,’ he said.