Chairman, Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) Tariq Mehmood Murtaza has asked the citizens not to invest in illegal and unauthorised housing schemes, advising them to check status of the housing societies from the Metropolitan Planning and Traffic Engineering (MP&TE) Directorate, RDA or visit the RDA website rda.gop.pk to know the status of the housing projects. He informed that the staff of the Directorate of MP&TE along with police and Elite Force had conducted operations against illegal housing schemes including Khanyal Homes (Mivida Block), Green Oaks Farm House, Rabia Residency (Star Enclave), Abdullah City And Blue World City (Site Magma City And Khayaban Iftikhar) here the other day at Chakri Road. The offices of two illegal housing schemes including Khanyal Homes and Green Oaks Farmhouse (Mivida Block) were sealed. In addition, Mivida Housing Scheme’s nine booking offices were demolished and a model of horse installed at the entrance gate of Green Oaks Farm House was also bulldosed and its advertising office was sealed. The illegal housing scheme Abdullah City had obtained a stay order from the court so the operation was stopped there in the light of the court order. He informed that the RDA team during the operation also faced resistance from a large number of people. The signboards of Star Enclave were pulled down for illegally using the name of Rabia Residency (Star Enclave). The offices of the old site Magma City and Khayaban Iftikhar which had merged in Blue World City had also been sealed and the roadside boards were torn down. The RDA also issued notices to the owners of the illegal housing schemes, he added. RDA sealed 16 shops including eight under construction on Chak Beli Khan Road under its ongoing operation against illegal construction. He informed that the authority was conducting regular operations against rules violators including plazas, shops, schools and other illegal land use encroachments. The Chairman said that the department had collected commercialisation fee amounting to Rs32 million from various residential cum commercial buildings during this week. The owners of the properties were constructing illegal residential cum commercial buildings without approval of map/No Objection Certificates (NOCs), in violation of Punjab Development of Cities Act 1976 and RDA Building and Zoning Regulations 2020. He said that the authorities concerned had been directed to take strict action against encroachments, illegal and unauthorised constructions and commercial activities without any discrimination. Under new policy introduced to promote construction activities in the district, he said, the building plans were being approved in 30 days, approval of change of land use in 45 days and approval of housing schemes in 75 days. The chairman said that during last financial year 1,600 maps of residential and multi-storey buildings were approved which was a record in the history of RDA. During last financial year 2020-21, RDA generated revenue amounting to Rs559 million against a revenue target of Rs295 million, he said adding that implementing austerity measures as per the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar, RDA saved Rs189 million from its non-development expenditures. To a question he said RDA was taking indiscriminate action against illegal housing schemes, adding, legal notices were issued to 307 housing projects, 91 challans and 112 FIRs were also registered since July 2018. RDA had also sealed offices of 135 schemes while boundary walls and main gates of 61 illegal housing schemes were demolished besides removal of their billboards during the period. One Window Operation Center equipped with modern facilities was set up in RDA to facilitate the citizens. The entire record of RDA’s State Management Directorate had been digitized while the work of process automation was also started. The Chairman RDA informed that WASA had completed dredging and de-silting work of Nullah Lai before onset of the monsoon season. Heavy rainfall was recorded in twin cities during this monsoon season and Nullah Lai was raised up to 21ft at Katarian Bridge and 17ft at Gawalmandi Bridge but no flash flooding was observed in the city. The work of dredging and de-silting of Lai Nullah was completed in June at Rs30 million cost, he said adding that WASA was alert and rain emergency had also been enforced as the leaves of all operational staff had been cancelled.