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In twin cities, Islamabad and Rawalpindi, the housing societies are popping from everywhere. Park View City Islamabad and Capital Smart City Islamabad are creating an impact in the real estate market with the facilities they are offering. These are the CDA approved projects with strategic management and planning. Not all housing societies are approved. Some of them are built on illegal land possessions and some are built without permission. The developers of such housing societies are fooling around innocent people. Capital Development Authority (CDA) has been seizing illegal properties for quite some time now and recently has taken notice of numerous illegal housing societies being built in Islamabad. CDA took the notice of all illegal housing societies/farming schemes that are selling and marketing plots without obtaining any approval or NOC from CDA. Before acquiring NOC from CDA it is illegal to market, advertise, sale or purchase the plots. Agencies are prohibited to advertise or sale plots without the approval issued by CDA.  CDA issued a list on its website, listing all illegal housing societies to inform and refrain people from investing money in such housing societies. The notice has been issued to all illegal housing societies to provide details and documents that have been looting the hard earn money of people. CDA has instructed the owners to get the approval of the layout plan and proceed further to acquire NOC from CDA.

According to CDA Ordinance, 1960, ICT (Zoning) Regulations, 1992, and the Revised Modalities and Procedures for the development of private housing schemes, CDA has the authority to control and regulate the planning and development of housing societies/farming schemes. Such schemes need to get dual permissions by CDA. Layout Plans (LOP) are granted on the first step, after the completion of later formalities/procedures, the second step is to get the No Objection Certificate (NOC). After acquiring NOC  from CDA developers can start the development of the project and sale or marketing of the plots.

On March 25th, it was discussed in Sub-Committee-VII of Public Accounts Committee (PAC), held at Parliament House under Convereship of MNA Riaz Fatyana. Senator Talha Mehmood showed his concern and said that on and off people of the capital city protest about the illegal societies. He pointed out that some of these societies are quite old and now people are suffering due to someone’s wrongdoing. He instructed the concerned authorities to identify the wrongdoers and mend their mistakes, also he forced them to follow the rules strictly made for new housing societies. He made sure that CDA management will take action against the illegal housing societies, providing details of all societies within one month and regulate the new ones.  The committee will evaluate the details of illegal housing societies and give further instructions to apply rules governed by CDA. The CDA chairman, Aamir Ahmad Ali revealed that societies acquire the initial layout plan from CDA but do not proceed further to apply for NOC. The sale/ purchase and marketing of the society starts before approval.  The committee also noticed that the details regarding the owners of the land are ambiguous, both CDA and MCI (Metropolitan Corporation of Islamabad) are confused which needs to be resolved. During the session, the committee suggested CDA to encourage private developers to invest in real estate with easy rules.

CDA has faced a lot of criticism as many housing societies like Ghouri Town developed a few years back and have been expanded to multiple phases but no intervention by CDA was observed. Similarly, other housing societies that are now the habitat of hard-working middle-class people with limited sources of income have been trapped in this deceitful activity. Now, these people should be compensated. Last year the auditor general of Pakistan also criticized the CDA to not take action against the illegal housing societies. Now the pressure on CDA is great and sighting the helplessness of citizens of these housing societies, it would be difficult for CDA to take any strict action. CDA can not demolish housing societies as it has been demolishing the khokas and other illegal extensions in front of shops. Now the money of people, saved during their whole life is at stake.

It would be a better choice if owners of these illegal lands provide the details to CDA as asked and get the approval of the layout plan and NOC. Otherwise, the citizens of these areas will be in great trouble and the government might not be able to help all of the innocent victims of this fraud. It is always advised to invest in a housing scheme that is approved by the government.

The authority has banned the supply of public facilities including electricity, water, and gas. This step might come in handy to stop people from investing in illegal properties or deal with the wrong people. To invest in Islamabad, people should select projects which are approved by CDA and developed by trusted developers or sponsors. Projects like Park View City Islamabad, Life Residencia, and Capital Smart City are CDA approved projects. These projects have approved NOC and the developmental work is in progress. These projects give assurity to provide basic facilities of life, so investing in this project is beneficial.

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