ISLAMABAD: The high-ups of the Capital Development Authority are planning the formulation of uniform planning parameters for commercial buildings at marakiz and class III shopping centres and to allow the building of one more floor on rooftops.
Thd civic agency constituted a six-member committee comprising the Director Traffic Engineering and Transportation Planning, Director Regional Planning, Director Estate Management-II, Director Structure (services), Director Building Control and Cost Accountant. Six meetings have already been held in this regard. The seventh meeting of the committee has been scheduled at the Chairman's Office today (Wednesday).
Due to the full drive of the Building Control Section (BCS) against the commercial use of residential areas; there has been a series of successes in having 228 buildings vacated forcefully by sealing them while 649 were voluntarily vacated by the owners.
It is pertinent to mention here that out of 228 sealed buildings 72 were de-sealed by the civic agency.
Due to the large number of commercial users vacated from residential areas the businesses are moving toward commercial areas and marakiz.
Unfortunately, due to the lack of a renting registrar or policy in the federal capital, the commercial users as well as residential users are suffering from high rents as the demands of the owners of commercial buildings have skyrocketed. There are 1.5 lac commercial users in the federal capital while there are only 70,000 commercial spaces available. Therefore, the civic agency planned to give permission to the private owners of commercial areas and markets to build another floor on rooftops so that all the commercial users can be accommodated. A private business man, Muhammad Ali, told the Daily Times that if the civic body succeeds in executing this plan, it would make it easier for the commercial users to get space in the posh sectors and markets.
"Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) and the Capital Development Authority (CDA) have to constitute a renting law or policy through which the civic agency can announce a per foot rent according to the floors of all the commercial and residential sectors and making it "binding" for all the owners and citizens.
This regulation will be a requisite which would constrain the owners of properties not do not demand rent in accordance with their sweet will", Muhammad Ali said. On contacting Shafi Marwat, the Director for Building Control Section, he told the Daily Times that the agency had not decided but was working on the plan.
The civic agency wants to accommodate all the commercial users. There are several recommendations under review like CDA's onetime fee for permission or a yearly fee for licencing them from the Directorate of Municipal Authority (DMA).
The Director of the DMA told this scribe that this step would make it easier for the commercial users of the residential areas to shift their entire set-up to commercial buildings without facing the hindrances of space in markets and marakiz. Member Planning, Waseem Ahmed Khan said that the agency was still working on the proposals to give permission to the owners of property for the construction of new floors in commercial areas. This plan is aimed at enhancing the interest of investors and businessmen in the capital. However, if the agency charges the rent according to per square foot on a yearly basis. it would prove to be a remarkable project.