- Rampant urbanization, encroachments and illegal constructions become order of the day in Islamabad
ISLAMABAD: For the first time since its inception, Islamabad is all set to get a complete revamp as the city managers, spearheaded by the Planning and Design Directorate of the Capital Development Authority (CDA), have decided to undertake the massive revision in the decades-old masterplan.
The decision was taken by high-ups and work initiated by the civic agency aims to address the issues of urbanization due to which both the residents living in the urban sectors, housing societies and in the rural areas suffer from housing shortage, lack of infrastructure, traffic congestion, improper and lack of access to basic amenities, no regulation of high-rise buildings, and growth of the multi-storey residential buildings.
It is pertinent to mention here that the process of revising the masterplan has multiple stages. In the first stage, the CDA Board will ask the authority to hire a consultant for the revision of the masterplan. In the second stage, a commission will review it and finally send it for approval to the cabinet. After the approval that the masterplan will be revised and implemented.
Since its incorporation in 1960, the masterplan hasn’t been reviewed to fit the new realities and need of the capital territory. The city managers, according to officials, have a plan to ‘resolve’ the perennial issue of the illegal constructions that inundates the entire city, especially in the housing societies. Previously, CDA had decided to amend its Zoning Control Policy of 2007 for many sectors, including E-11, after thorough deliberation.
However, the CDA Board while showing a willingness to regularise the apartment complexes, has approved layout plans of the Khudadad Heights, the Capital Residencia and the Meridian Heights. But these apartment buildings are already built, functional and occupied. Islamabad, being the only city that has been constructed according to the masterplan, is in dire need of thorough planning and massive changes as the encroachments, environmental degradation and mushrooming housing societies have snatched its green character.
Although from time-to-time, the proposal of amending the masterplan has been considered. However, nothing concrete ever came out of it other than adjusting the zoning regulation and turning the title of few residential and commercial lands. This time around, the proposals include purpose-built parks, regularisation of the high-rise buildings, a new Building Control Authority and a site for the waste disposal along with other recommendations.