ISLAMABAD-After sitting on an approved board decision for more than a year, the city managers are back on track and have announced to finalise a comprehensive policy for shifting of private schools from the residential premises with consultation of all stakeholders.

According to a press statement, in light of the directions of the Islamabad High Court (IHC), the Capital Development Authority (CDA) have finalised a comprehensive policy in this regards and an action plan to implement the same.

A special meeting on the subject is secluded in CDA on Thursday to take all concerned departments and stakeholders on board. The representatives of Federal Directorate of Education, Private Educational School Regulatory Authority (PIERA) and other concerned formations will attend the meeting.

However, the CDA board in August 2018 had already approved a set of recommendations to smoothly shift private schools from the residential premises but instead of implanting the plan, the city managers are again doing meetings to further complex the matter.

There are 367 private schools operating in residential buildings, however, the building control section of the CDA had sealed more than 50 schools last year in an operation following the directions of Supreme Court and Islamabad High Court.

A general operation against non-conforming use of residential buildings across the city has been going on since 2014. However, the civic body had showed leniency towards educational institutions and placed them in the last row because of the directions of the interior minister at that time, the Chairman CDA and due to multiple litigations.

A special committee was also formed by CDA on the directions of IHC to give an opportunity to private schools and their associations and a general meeting in this regard was also held at Jinnah Convention Centre Islamabad on 11th May 2018, which was attended by a large number of participants.

The said committee forwarded eleven-point recommendations for the consideration and final approval of the CDA board and the same had been approved accordingly except a single proposal in which the committee recommended to allow preschools in residential areas.

According to other recommendations approved by the CDA board, show cause notices was to be issued to all those schools’ plot holders, who did not construct the buildings so far and decided to cancel their allotment ultimately if they will fail to satisfy the civic body.

The show cause notice was also to be issued to those plot owners, who constructed the buildings but did not shift their schools from the residential premises. It is also recommended that CDA should allot all plots earmarked in residential sectors for educational institutions according to its rules while making sure to dispose of all those plots, which were previously allotted but were subsequently cancelled by the authority.

In an important development, the recommendations was also include that CDA would request Federal Directorate of Education to explore the Opportunities of sharing its land with private schools as it has been allotted huge chunks of land in all sectors, which are still unutilized.

Furthermore, Private Housing Schemes was also to be stressed to ensure timely construction on plots reserved for schools while all those private school owners, who are willing to shift their schools into private lands in Zone-II, IV and V shall be encouraged and facilitated by the expediting the process of approval of building plans.

It was recommended further that the planning wing shall find the possibilities of earmarking plots for private schools in developed sectors while in the future during planning phase of every new sector, the plots for private schools would also be earmarked.

The Capital Development Authority board had approved that schools which will not stop the use of residential premises will not only be sealed but will also be fined Rs500,000 as lump sum and a fine of Rs10,000 per day will also be charged.