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CDA to allow skyscrapers in Blue Area.

Byline: MUHAMMAD ASAD CHAUDHRY

ISLAMABAD -- The Capital Development Authority has formed a committee to review the existing building bylaws and planning parameters for Islamabad with an aim to articulate vision of 'vertical development' of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

A 3-member committee will identify shortcomings in existing bylaws and purpose possibilities for their improvement while it will also prepare its recommendations to formulate the procedures to make the process convenient for public by rationalising current bylaws with international practices.

The committee includes Director Urban Planning Ijaz Ahmed Shaikh and Director Architect Ali Abdullah as its members while the Director Building Control-I Faisal Naeem would act as its convener.

According to a notification issued by Human Resource Directorate CDA, the committee is empowered to take input from professionals, architects, engineers and town planners through professional bodies while it is directed to submit its report within next three weeks.

Sources said that though the committee is mandated to revise building bylaws for the whole capital city but it will remain focused on amending building bylaws for Blue Area at first stage where they got a go ahead by Civil Aviation Authority to build skyscrapers.

Recently, while following directions of Prime Minister Imran Khan to resolve the height restriction issue, the civic body and CAA had reach on an agreement. Resultantly, CAA had issued a notification excluding certain areas of Islamabad from prohibited range for high-rise developments.

Last month, the prime minister directed the CDA and CAA to encourage vertical structure and later the federal cabinet also approved the initiative.

The said that exemption will apply to buildings on an 8-kilometre-long strip of Blue Area from F-6/G-6 to F-9/G/9 and a small portion of other urban area.

It is expected that after revision of building bylaws, the civic agency would allow the height of buildings in Blue Area to 700 to 800 feet as compared to previous maximum height of 420 feet.

Sources said that the formulation of the committee came after an interval of almost 15 years as the existing building bylaws were formulated in 2005. The existing bylaws are generally considered up to the mark for residential buildings but it lacks details for commercial buildings.

The civic body through its board has made multiple decisions on emerging needs but on case-to-case bases in past, which raises eyebrows of concerned circles while a number of corrupt practices were also reported in absence of a comprehensive building bylaws for commercial buildings.

The said committee is envisioned to prepare its recommendations to incorporate previous board decisions, purpose new bylaws to overcome shortcomings while the CDA board would approve or disapprove said proposal.

Senior officers of CDA believe that uniformed and up-to-date building bylaws are a dare need of the city but it should be formulated after well-conceived surveys and studies while keeping the international standards in mind.

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Publication:The Nation (Karachi, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Mar 20, 2019
Words:529
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