Islamabad - The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has asked the management of Al-Safa Gold Mall to remit outstanding dues of over Rs 390 million on account of balance premium and delay charges on premium to the authority within 15 days.

According to a letter written by the Directorate of Estate Management-II of the CDA to the chief executive officer of the M/S Al-Safa Golden Company (Pvt) Ltd, sector F-7 Markaz, Islamabad, the mall management owes Rs 397,204,762 to the CDA on two accounts; balance premium (Rs 31,832,519) and delay charges on premium (Rs 365,372,243), making a total of Rs 397,204,762.

The CDA has requested the mall management to remit the dues within 15 days from date of issuance of the letter, failing which action will be taken under the terms and conditions of the allotment letter which may result in cancellation of the plot (plot number 5 (Ex-DHS), Markaz F-7 Islamabad. The letter was issued on August 22, 2016 by the deputy director CDA.

The issue of dues outstanding against the Safa Gold Mall has been lingering since years with the mall management and CDA differing over the actual amount of delay charges. In 2013, the CDA had also taken up the matter with the mall management and informed them that a sum of Rs 229,648,884 on account of outstanding premium in respect of the said plot was outstanding. The mall management had failed to remit the amount to the authority despite repeated reminders and requests.

The mall has had been in headlines due to other issues as well. In end July this year, the CDA had sealed the Safa Gold Shopping Mall in the Jinnah Super Market for violating building codes and the original layout plan. A  CDA team headed by CDA Director Building Control Shafi Marwat sealed all entrances into the mall except one, left open as an emergency exit, in the presence of City Magistrate Imran Zia. But the sources said the authority was unwilling to proceed against its officers who supported illegal actions of the mall management on different occasions. The management had started construction on 8th floor of the building which was not allowed under the rules. The documents show that the management of the civic body ordered Member (Engineering) Shahid Sohail in 2014 to inquire into the matters of the Safa Gold Mall and charge sheets were issued against Director General (Planning) Sarwar Sindhu, his deputy Ghulam Murtaza Malik and Director (Architecture) Ali Abdullah and his deputy Ammar Idress on February 4, 2016. Since then, the inquiry has been under process, according to the documents.

It was in 2010 that the then-CDA management decided to auction plot number 5 at Jinnah Super Market, where the CDA’s health directorate was once located. Initially, the allottee was given permission to build a ground floor plus four storeys. Later, his request to allow him raise a ground floor plus seven storeys was granted.

Ultimately, it ended up being eight storeys following another request to add a cinema house to the mall . But CDA withdrew the permission for the cinema later and directed the mall owner not to construct it. The management is also a defaulter to the authority. The owner of the mall was also alleged to have encroached upon a large portion of adjacent CDA land where he has placed generators and AC plants.