ISLAMABAD-The Capital Development Authority (CDA) is unmoved against the illegal use of pathways and corridors inside the shopping malls i.e. Centaurus Mall and Safa Gold Mall.

Such pathways and corridors are considered as public thoroughfare and they are excluded from total cover area allowed to builders at the time of the approval of their building plans.

The builders get additional cover area in lieu of such pathways and corridors.

According to rules, the verandas and pathways of commercial centres are considered as public spaces and owner of a commercial centre could not use or rent out the same exclusively to anybody.

However, the builders rented out these pathways and corridors to private individuals against hefty monthly rents illegally. As for instance, the kiosks, carts, and ATM machines are quite visible in each and every corridor of the Centaurus Mall and the Safa Gold Mall.

When approached for comments, the Director Building Control Muhammad Fasail Naeem accepted that these circulation areas could not be used for commercial purposes as they are public property.

He, however, said that they did not take any action against this illegality, as they do not have the exact figures. He said a survey will be conducted and then action will be taken against this illegal use of corridors and pathways.

Few months back, the city managers were doing gigantic operations against pathways and verandas of markets to free them from encroachers and to facilitate the pedestrian movement of general public visiting these markets.

During such operations, the encroachments from public pathways, corridors and verandas of various plazas were removed in Blue Area, Aabpara Market and other ‘marakiz’ of the city in which illegal shutters, stairs, and portioning walls constructed in verandas of the plazas were dismantled to make verandas opened for the public.

However, the same administration seems to be toothless when it comes to the big wigs of the city and they did not move towards the similar illegality of famous shopping malls.

“The Centaurs Mall and Safa Gold Mall are also using their circulation areas (pathways) for commercial purposes and rented it out to several brands,” a shopkeeper of F-6 said, questioning: “Why the city managers are not doing operation inside these malls and removing these encroachments.”

He further stated that according to their building plan, they cannot use these pathways for commercial purposes but one can easily find jewellery, perfume and nut shops and ATM machines in all corridors of the Centaurus Mall and Safa Gold Mall.