Islamabad - The top court on Tuesday ordered the government to take approval from cabinet within 15 days on the proposal of regularizing illegal constructions in Banigala.

The top court further directed CDA to immediately demolish illegal encroachments on the bank of Koran River and inside the Korang River line.

Regarding Botanical Garden, the top court sought all the files of litigation, pending in different courts, and fixed the hearing for Wednesday (today).

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar heard the case of illegal construction and encroachments in Banigala.

The top court had taken notice over the application of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, written in October 2017, seeking top court’s intervention in the matter.

However, in accordance with the proposal prepared for regularization of illegal construction in Banigala, the residence of Khan comprising around 300 Kanal and 5 Marla will be also be regularized but in a few million rupees.

The 8-members committee comprising representatives of Capital Development Authority (CDA) and other administrative bodies have finalised the proposal for regularization of structures constructed in violation of Zoning Regulation in Zone III & IV which includes Khan’s Banigala house.

According to the draft summary for cabinet on proposal of regularization, “The federal government may allow one time amnesty for the un-regulated and un-authorized structures constructed before 30-30-2018, in Zone – III, and Zone – IV; excluding Margallah Hills National Park are (MHNP) only un-acquired privately owned lands which is free from litigation/ issues of demarcation with any Federal or Provincial agency/ organization, notwithstanding prevailing Zoning Regulations of these areas.”

The proposal, submitted by Additional Attorney General (AAG) Syed Nayyar Rizvi, also stated that the one-time amnesty of all such structures will be subject to payment of applicable fees of CDA and charges for provision of municipal services, it stated.

“Un-authorized and un-regularized Commercial structures constructed before 30-30-2018, in Zone – III, and Zone – IV; excluding Margallah Hills National Park are (MHNP) only un-acquired privately owned lands which is free from litigation/ issues of demarcation with any Federal or Provincial agency/ organization, notwithstanding prevailing Zoning Regulations of these areas; will be regularized subject to fulfilment of applicable civic/ safety standards,” the proposal further stated. 

All the construction carried out after April 30 shall be dealt according to the applicable Zoning Regulations, it added.

Rizvi told the bench that one time non-refundable scrutiny fees shall be 5000, 10,000 and 150,000 for land upto 8 Marla, 14 Marla and 4 Kanal respectively which is to be charged by CDA for processing regularization under its regulatory functions.

He further stated that Rs. 50 per sq. ft of total covered area shall be charged as penalty by CDA for compounding construction without approval of building Plans.

Rizvi further told the bench that the regularization charges for land upto 8 Marla is Rs. 10, for land upto 14 Marla and 1 Kanal is Rs. 50 and for the land upto 4 Kanal is Rs. 450.

He further stated that all the constructions erected after April 30 2018 will be demolished.

Rizvi apprised the court that PC-I of 4 sewerage treatment plants has been prepared and sent to the relevant quarters for approval.

The Preliminary Capital Cost Estimate, including the machinery and equipment, of the Project of 4 is Rs. 3.6 billion, he added.

64% of the funds shall be provided by Federal Government through Public Sector Development Program (PSDP), he said while citing the documents.

He added that 36% amount of the fund shall be provided by the Punjab Government through its Annual Development Program (ADP) to which law officer of Punjab Advocate Asma Hamid, who was also present during the hearing, agreed.

Likewise, Rizvi said that as per PC-I, Rs. 1500 per sq. yards to be levied by Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) against the development of infrastructure including Sewerage System and Sewerage Treatment as Development Charges.

According to PC-I, Annual Operating Cost will be 144 million (estimates are based on the year 2012-2013) and it includes Human Resource and administration charges, Power and utility charges, chemical consumables, sludge sales, revenues and benefits.

He further added that that Korang River comprises the area of 548 Kanal and most of it was encroached even the stream has also been encroached.

He further informed the bench that ICT has conducted a survey in Banigala along Korang River and clearly demarcated the land of Koran g adding that the Right of Way measuring 200ft on each side of Korang River has also been demarcated on the plan.

Regarding encroachment in botanical garden, the Rizvi stated that complete demarcation of the garden has been completed with the assistance of Survey of Pakistan.

The construction of boundary wall has been started on site; he said adding that a separate report on botanical garden as well as a list of litigation by the encroachers, has already been placed before the court.

It is difficult to recover the encroached land due to litigation, he added.

The top court sought files of litigation and decided to hear itself on Wednesday (today).

The estimated population in rural areas of Islamabad, according to 2017 census, is about 1 million with about 165000 residential units in addition to numerous commercial structures.

Minister of CADD said that Enforcing Zoning Regulation and Building Codes on such settlements will entail demolition of all such unauthorized structures. However, the option of demolishing such a large number of structures is not advisable on account of of humanitarian concerns, as it will cause problems to the population of these settlements.