Islamabad - Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) is striving hard to legalise the ‘illegal utility connections’ by pressuring the high-ups of Capital Development Authority (CDA) and Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI), it has been reported.

The local chapter of the party has announced a protest demonstration against the Mayor and Chairman of CDA as well as Minister of CADD for ‘illegally banning the new connections of civic amenities i.e. gas, electricity and water for the residents of Islamabad’, on September 15, 2017.

According to the PTI’s MCI members, the Mayor Islamabad has proved his inability to address the problems and give relief to the people of the capital. According to party members, the protesters will march from the Fire Brigade Office in Sector G-7 to the CDA head office at 3 pm on Friday. The protest rally will be led by PTI MNA from Islamabad, Asad Umer.

The federal cabinet, in its meeting held on May 19, 2004, had decided in case No 108/10/2004 that construction in contravention of the zoning laws should not be allowed in Zone 2, 3, and 4 of Islamabad on government or private land. It further directed WAPDA, SNGPL, and PTCL not to provide the connection in these zones, unless an NOC has been obtained by the applicant from CDA. Furthermore, Islamabad High Court vides order dated January 13, 2015, in the writ petition No.4958/2014 also directed the concerned quarters to restrain from giving connections to such applicants who have not obtained permission/NOC from the CDA.

In May 2015, CDA wrote to the utility services providers including Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL), Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) and Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO) to immediately stop entertaining applications for new connections . The move was aimed at checking the mushroom growth of illegal housing societies in the limits of the federal capital.

The correspondence shows that pressure on CDA had led to a swing in its policy on the subject.

CDA has been facing constant pressure from both government quarters and the residents of the capital city. Now PTI has decided to stand by the residents of illegal housing schemes.

In December 2016, the government considered giving one-time relaxation of zoning by-laws to provide utility connections to the building units. The move was aimed at provision of the utility connections to all the building units in these illegal settlements.

The proposed one-time relaxation was to settle the long-standing issue of utility connections in the illegal settlements.

These illegal housing schemes neither have their layout plans approved nor have the NOCs been issued to them by the CDA. Yet the management of these schemes has continued to book plots, putting the money of investors at risk.

When contacted, Ali Awan, Opposition Leader in MCI said no decision that violates fundamental rights of citizens is logical. “If Bahria Town is getting new connections why not Barma Town and other suburban areas of the city”, he maintained.

He said that the people are helplessly running from pillar to post for compensation of their constructed properties and CDA is to blame for the inefficiency. He said that there is a court order that basic amenities cannot be declined to the citizens.