Commercial use of residential units has skyrocketed housing rent in capital By Taimoor Iqbal Jadoon

413

ISLAMABAD, Oct 28 (APP): Islamabad is fast becoming a city of
elite contrary to the repeated claims by respective governments to develop
the federal city on the pattern of making it affordable for the middle
and lower middle class particularly for the residential purposes.
The bitter fact is that finding a house on affordable rent is becoming a dream for the middle class especially for the salaried class.
Non-development of new residential sectors, mushroom growth of housing societies and above all the misuse of residential units for commercial purposes have skyrocketed the housing rentals in the city to the point of unaffordability.
Due to blithe lack of concern by the Capital Development Authority
for provision of housing facilities to the common people – one of the basic
mandates of the civic body, the housing shortage has burgeoned to thousands.
Even the commercial entities including educational institutes, offices, beauty parlors, restaurants and foreign missions have also no place in the commercial areas due to poor planning.
But it is the residents who bear the brunt of this ill-planning who have to face a lot of difficulty to find a residential unit on rent.
The owners giving preference to rent out their house for commercial
purpose as compared to residential purpose because they get more money
from commercial units which is sheer violation of CDA by laws building
regulation act 2005 amended in 2015.
According to a report of the CDA there are 2000 nonconforming units
in the federal capital which are being used for different commercial activities.
Talking to this news agency, Muhammad Ishaq Khalid, an owner of
house in F-6/1, said that he is getting Rs 3 lakh monthly rent of his house as he rented it for a guest house which is almost 70 percent more than
residential use.
He said that he rented his house about two years before and no
concerned department has asked him about the violation of building
regulation act.
Deputy Director General of Land and State of CDA, Hamza Shafqaat
told that Capital Development Authority (CDA) has taken strict action
against all those premises which were being violating the rules and
regulations by using residential properties for commercial purposes.
In this connection, ten (10) days time was given to the violators to
abolish/remove commercial activities from all residential premises in different
sectors of Islamabad, after that authority has initiated strict action to remove all commercial ventures from the Capital city, he added.
In this regard, violators were being informed through public notice in the media that residential properties in Islamabad which are to be used as residential premises only, have been put to non conforming use by establishing commercial activities in violation of Islamabad Residential Sectors Zoning (Building Control) Regulations-2005 and CDA ordinance 1960, must bring back the premises into conforming use within ten days from issuance of the said notice, failing which CDA shall be constrained to cancel the allotment of the property besides sealing the premises and imposition of fines under the law.
CDA has started this operation after the expiry of its ten days deadline earlier given to the violators to bring back their premises to conforming use in accordance with the Islamabad Residential Sector Zoning Regulation-2005.
The operation was being carried out by the Enforcement Directorate
in collaboration with Building Control and other concerned formations in the
presence of CDA Magistrate.
During the first phase of massive and grand operation, Enforcement
Directorate along with Building Control Section and other concerned formations of the authority sealed 23 different residential premises which include house No. 15 street 18/16 sector F-7/2,house 15-A street 18/16 of sector F-7/2, house No. 40 street 20 F-7/2, house no 15 a street 18/16 sector F-7/2, house No. 42 street 20/16, sector F-7/2, house No. 35 college road F-7/2, house No. 37 College Road F-7/2, house No. 35A college Road sector F-7/2, house No. 20 A college Road sector F-7/2, house No. 22A college Road sector F-7/2, house 23 College Road sector F-7/2, house No. 23 college Road sector F-7/2, house No. 4 street 65 F-7/2, house No. 8, street 5A sector F-7/4, house No. 81 School Road F-7/4, house No. 57A school Road, F-7/1, house No.59 school Road F-7/1, house No.7 School Road F-7/1, house No. 49 school road F-7/1, house No. 2C street 20 sctor F-7/2, house No. 52 sector F-7/4 and house 39A school road sector F-7/1.
During the Second phase of massive operation against non-conforming
use of residential buildings 11 more houses, under non-conforming use, were
sealed in sectors F-6, F-7 and F-8 of the Federal Capital.
During the operation, house No.36 of Nazimuddin Road, Sector F-6/1
and house No. 20 located at Nazimuddin Road of sector F-6/4 were sealed for violating Islamabad Residential Sectors Zonning Regulation-2005. Similarly House No. 01,
street no. 50 of sector F-7/4, house no. 20 located at street 41 of sector F-7/1,
house no. 02 located at street 37 of sector F-7/1, house No. 48 located at
Nazimuddin Road sector F-7/4, house No. 17 street number 18 of sector F-7/2
and house no. 25 street 13 of sector F-7/2 were sealed for using residential
premises for commercial ventures. CDA also conducted a crack-down on the
violators in sector F-8 of Islamabad and sealed house No. 01 of street 05
located in sector F-8/3, house No.01-A of street 05 of sector F-8/3 and house
No. 90 A of Nazimuddin Road sector F-8/4.
Besides massive operation, public at large, through public notices, time
and again, is being informed and warned to remove nonconforming use
immediately from residential premises to avoid sealing and heavy fines.
CDA management has reiterated that comprehensive operation launched to
remove all commercial ventures from the residential sectors of the city would
continue till the complete elimination of non-conforming use.
CDA Management has directed the concerned formations to take strict action
and coordinated operation in entire city without any fear or favour.