Islamabad - Majority of businessmen, who were earlier operating from residential units in the sectoral area of the city, have shifted their businesses to private housing societies and National Police Foundation to avoid CDA’s action for non-conforming use of the houses.

According to the officials at the Capital Development Authority (CDA), the Building Control Section (BCS) of the authority operates within the sectoral area of the city and private housing societies as Behria Town, non-sectoral area as NPF in sector E-11 and rural areas do not fall under its jurisdiction.

According to the CDA officials, many of the businessmen who operated in sectoral area have now shifted to other areas out of the jurisdiction of BCS.

The BCS had, sometime back taken a strict view of the non-conforming use of residential units and sealed many of the premises.

According to CDA, there were around 1700 residential units where commercial activities were being carried out illegally when the operation started. The count then dropped to just over 500, as some of the owners of properties converted their building to conforming use. The BCS also imposed fine of worth Rs 269.7 million collectively and cancelled the allotments of 15 non-conformers besides sealing 50 houses, according to the officials.

CDA had also taken action against the 24 government offices set up in residential buildings. The majority owners have got their properties de-sealed after payment of fine and converting to conforming sue.

The remaining non-conforming cases are mostly private schools, guest houses and private hostels. Director BCS, Shafi Muhammad Marwat told The Nation that schools operating in residential areas make up the largest chunk of non-conformers. He said since the owners of private hostels, guest houses and private educational institutions have obtained a stay order against a possible eviction or sealing of the premises, the clampdown against the non-conforming use has almost came to a standstill.

Their cases are pending in the HRCP, Supreme Court and IHC respectively. “Now only the private schools, hostels, guest houses and a few media houses are operating in the residential units which collectively make around 500,” he added.

He told The Nation that a committee has been constituted to find a way out of the issue of private educational institutions operating in the residential units.

The officials at the CDA said that every time CDA tries to take action against the violators, the non-conformers manage to get an order in their favour from the court. On the other hand, if the private hostels get no ultimate relief from the court, the situation for female students particularly, seems even worse, as 12 out of over 50 universities in the capital city have no hostel and the CDA has no alternate to offer to come over the housing crises.

There are around 44 diplomatic missions, envoys using buildings in residential areas. CDA has taken up the case of diplomatic missions with the ministry of foreign affairs to shift them from the residential areas, said the CDA officials.

Meanwhile, Health Directorate of Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad have seized 225 kilogram of chemical powder being used in the preparation of milk. A team of the directorate raided a vehicle at a police picket at G-10 signal and seized bags of the chemical. Ramana police have also registered a case against Afzal and further investigation is underway.