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All existing unplanned structures to be regularised, SC told.

Byline: Nasir Iqbal

ISLAMABAD -- The Supreme Court was informed on Tuesday that under an amnesty scheme the Capital Development Authority (CDA) would regularise only those unplanned constructions in Banigala which were built until March 30, 2018.

Any construction raised after the March 30, 2018, deadline will be demolished, Additional Attorney General Nayyer Rizvi told a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar.

On a suo motu, the apex court had taken up illegal constructions in Banigala on a letter written by PTI Chairman Imran Khan. The PTI chief had invited the court's attention towards the large scale encroachment on the botanical garden, uncheck and unplanned construction in Banigala, massive denuding due to large scale tree felling and pollution of the Rawal Lake due to sewage.

The Supreme Court summoned a complete report on CDA's drive against illegal constructions around the Korang riverbed in two weeks.

The court also called the record of a similar pending case in the Islamabad High Court about encroachments in the botanical garden but directed the Punjab government to furnish details of a sewerage scheme to be launched in the area.

The objective behind the case is to protect the botanical garden and the Korang riverbed, the chief justice observed and sought a progress report regarding approval of a regularisation policy and proper sewerage scheme in two weeks.

The court also cautioned Minister for Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) Tariq Fazal Chaudhry that he would be responsible if the regularisation proposal was not approved within the stipulated time.

According to media reports, under the proposed scheme owners who raised constructions illegally would seek regularisation of their property or risk demolition.

The owners of structures constructed illegally within the national park area, two kilometres from the highest Rawal Dam watermark and the adjoining area, will have to apply to the CDA for the regularisation of their buildings.

Earlier, a lack of coordination between state organisations had resulted in the proliferation of unauthorised constructions in Banigala in addition to the problems the CDA was facing in launching new housing schemes in the capital.

Now the authority has finalised a proposal under which the residential and commercial property would be regularised after due scrutiny, safety evaluations and fees and penalties as per the schedule notified by the CDA notwithstanding the provisions of the ICT Zoning Regulations for Zone III.

Any structure or property not registered within the specified time under the scheme would be demolished at the risk and cost of the owners.

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Publication:Dawn (Karachi, Pakistan)
Date:Apr 4, 2018
Words:471
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