ISLAMABAD: The International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) needs a prior approval of the prime minister of Pakistan before a final approval of its layout plan from the Capital Development Authority (CDA); otherwise the university will have to leave almost half of its area as green belt. The university management recently submitted a purposed layout plan comprising over an area measuring 704 acres situated in Sector H-10. The said layout plan showed only 1,000 feet wide green belt/buffer zone along the Kashmir Highway instead of the original 2,700 feet wide buffer zone. The buffer zone is a 2,700 feet wide land strip situated between right side of the Kashmir Highway and H series to segregate the industrial and institutional sectors from the residential sectors of G series to avoid possible nuisance. As per the master plan of the capital city, the original green character of the buffer zone cannot be changed; however, in the past the federal government made changes to the land use of buffer zone and even in some sectors the width of the buffer zone had already been reduced on a case-to-case basis. The buffer zone in Sector H-8 has been converted into special buildings and in Sector H-9 the land use of buffer zone has been changed to orchards, graveyard and slaughter houses. These changes were made without the approval of the federal government. In Sector H-11/3, the land of the buffer zone had been allotted for graveyard and disaster management academy, whereas in H-11/2 the buffer zone was reduced to 1,000 feet but with the approval of the prime minister. In 2008, then prime minister had also reduced the width of buffer zone to 1,000 feet from 2,700 feet in Sector H-12 for the National University of Science and Technology (NUST). “Though, in previous correspondence with the IIUI and a summary moved for NUST, it was mentioned that the width of buffer zone for IIUI has been reduced, but we don’t have a clear approval of the federal government in this regard,” an officer of the civic body told Daily Times. “The IIUI will have to approach the prime minister because reduction in the area of buffer zone means amendment to the master plan of Islamabad, which can only be amended by the federal government.” When contacted, CDA Public Relation Director Malik Mazhar Hussain said, “The IIUI is an educational institution and the CDA will fully facilitate it while approving its layout plan.” Sources in the planning wing of the CDA confirmed the move and briefed that the request of the IIUI had already been forwarded to the CDA chairman for a decision on it – whether the layout be approved without the approval of federal government or it may be conveyed to the IIUI management to seek the approval of the prime minister first. “Most probably, the layout of the IIUI will not be approved by the CDA without the approval of the federal government because it is mandatory,” an officer said. Published in Daily Times, October 19th 2017.