Islamabad - As the Capital Development Authority has asked the owners of existing marquees and wedding halls in the city to get them regularized under the newly-introduced parameters, the process will cost a minimum of Rs 9.1 million to each establishment, according to the fee schedule. 

The Authority is expecting a minimum of 600 million rupees to be collected from the existing establishments under the head of fee/charges for regularization of the marquees and wedding halls. At present, there are around 70 marquees and marriage halls in the city which have been asked to get regularized under the new by-laws/parameters though. According to CDA officials, 9 of them located in sector G-12 cannot be regularized under the existing zoning regulations.

For each marquee and marriage hall, the minimum area requirement is 2000 sq. yards while some of the establishments have double the required area. According to the newly-introduced parameters, the land use conversion charges including development charges for marquees and marriage halls is Rs 2000 per sq. yard which mean that each establishment will have to submit minimum of 4 million rupees under the head of ‘Land Use Conversion Charges’ including development charges. Accordingly, the Authority will collect a minimum of Rs 280 million under this single head if owners of all the 70 establishments approach the CDA for regularization. The charges are one time and non-refundable. According to CDA officials, the land used for the marquees and wedding halls was supposed to be for agricultural purposes and charges have been imposed for using it for commercial purposes. The establishments occupying an area of more than 2000 sq. yards will have to pay more accordingly.

Besides this, regularization charges will be imposed at the rate of Rs 100 per sq. feet which means that an establishment with the minimum required area of 18000 sq. feet (2000 sq. yards) will be charged Rs 1.8 million under the regularization charges. The Authority will be getting minimum Rs 126m under the head of regularization charges from all the 70 establishments collectively. Furthermore, Rs 300,000 will be charged as scrutiny fee from each of the establishments.

The Authority is likely to get minimum of Rs 21 million under the head from the marquee/wedding hall owners.        

Each of the owner will have to pay Rs 50,000 per month as access charges which is payable in advance for first five years. This means that each owner will have to pay Rs 3 million under the head at the time of regularization. The CDA will collect further Rs 210 million collectively from all the establishments.

Therefore, each establishment willing to get regularized under the newly-introduced parameters will have to bear a burden of minimum of Rs 9.1 million under the head of land use conversion charges, regularization charges, Scrutiny fee and Access Charges while the CDA will collect around Rs 600 million under the four heads if all the establishments approach for the regularization process.

The other parameters for the marquees, marriage halls include availability of parking, access road, fire and safety standards, sewerage network, solid waste management plan etc. Penalty for delay in bringing existing structures in conformity with the newly-approved building plans is Rs 500,000 plus Rs 5000 per day. The above-said fee/charges/penalties are subject to enhancement at the rate of 15 percent after every three years. The entire regularization process will be completed within nearly 6 months time. Four weeks have been given for submission of application for regularization of the existing marquees/marriage halls while scrutiny of applications, issuance of planning permission and approval of building plans by CDA will take another 4 weeks time. Bringing existing structures in conformity with the approved building plans will take 12 weeks, according to the CDA officials.

The Supreme Court had recently taken notice of the irregular wedding halls and marquees in the city and directed the CDA to conduct a survey to find out how many establishments currently existed.

The survey found 70 marquees/wedding halls all of which were all illegal. The nine marquees located in sector G-12 will not be regularised because the zoning regulations don’t allow construction of such establishments in the zone.

These marquees include Rayans Marquee, La Pearl Wedding Hall, Venue One Marquee, Capitol Marquee, Galaxy Marquee, Rohtas Marquee, Regalian Gold Marquee, Occasions, and Golden Horse Marquee. In sector E-11, they have encroached upon the state land for their parking lots. “They will have to readjust their land use and spare the state land for getting them regularized,” said a senior CDA official directly involved in the process. The operators of marquees/marriage halls who have not applied for the regularization procedure will have their structures demolished under section 49-C of the CDA ordinance.