CDA Islamabad Vs Bahria Town – Park Enclave a test case

CDA Islamabad Vs Bahria Town – Park Enclave & Bahria Enclave a test case
Islamabad (July 10, 2011) – A real estate tycoon made a clever but `unethical` move by announcing a housing scheme close to another one launched recently by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to provide what the city managers called “unique” housing facilities in the federal capital.
The move of Bahria Towns owner is obviously aimed at failing Park Enclave which the Capital Development Authority`s (CDA) scheme has launched after two decades as he is offering plots on cheaper rates and easy terms.
However, some real estate experts were of the view that although Bahria Town has gained good reputation in housing, but it could not match the standard of development which the CDA offers.
“Bahria Town cannot provide such wide streets and roads in its scheme which the CDA has in its already developed sectors,” a real estate expert Mohammad Asif said.
Some people believe that the future of most ambitious housing project, Park Enclave, launched by the prime minister is still bright because people have more confidence in the CDA than any other private housing scheme. They expect that now the CDA will develop a better scheme due to competition with the private builder.
Although the CDA officials claimed that the scheme launched by Bahria Town has no NOC or approval from the authority, they seemed to be helpless in taking any action against the private developer due to his influence and connection with the ruling elite.
It has been learnt that the city managers are under immense pressure from some political circles to facilitate Bahria Town in launching its scheme making the authority helpless in taking any action against it.
“We are only concentrating on our own scheme to fulfill all promises made with the plot seekers at the time of its launching, instead of looking towards others,” said the CDA`s spokesman Ramzan Sajid.
The move of Bahria Town is believed to be `surprising` for many including some CDA officials.
The CDA, being part of the government, requires its support to deal with the influential real estate builder. And if it is supported by the government, it can establish its writ as it did few years ago when it retrieved some 200 kanals of land allegedly occupied by Bahria Town near the bed of Soan River.
Here some questions arise. Can the private builder launch a housing scheme in Islamabad without approval of the CDA and second, does he owns required land in the area to develop a successful housing scheme?
If the prime minister does not take notice of unauthorised private scheme, the project he had launched this week will be affected badly because the private builder has offered plots in his scheme half of the price set by the CDA in Park Enclave, which is called `Jewel of Islamabad`.
The CDA has recently allowed housing in Zone-IV, which spread over 70,000 acres to provide planned housing and commercial facilities in the zone. However, it has so far not issued NOC or approval to anyone for any housing project in the zone. “As far as my knowledge is concerned, the CDA has not issued even a single NOC for any housing scheme in Zone-IV,” the CDA spokesman said.
According to Zoning Regulations 2010, also approved by federal cabinet, NOC is mandatory for launching any housing scheme in Zone-IV and V.
Bahria Town spokesperson claimed that the firm was in possession of the land where it announced its scheme and an application had been submitted to the CDA for seeking NOC.
Real estate experts said it was a real test for the CDA to prove itself as the city`s development authority and to do away with the impression of `slackness` in opening new residential sectors in Islamabad. It has become necessary for the civic body to complete the development work of Park Enclave in stipulated time with all modern facilities promised in the scheme.
(Published in Daily English “DAWN” on 10-7-2011)