Rawalpindi-The first conference of Chairmen and Directors General of Punjab Development Authorities was held under the aegis of Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) here yesterday.

Mian Mahmood ur Rashid, Punjab Minister for Housing Urban Development and Public Health Engineering, chaired the conference.

On the occasion, the minister for housing said that Chairman RDA Tariq Mehmood Murtaza has taken a very good step by organizing this conference. Holding such conferences will give an opportunity to the development authorities to benefit from each other’s experiences. 

He said that such conferences should be held on a regular basis and it is better to hold them in phases after every two to three months at other departments.

Director General RDA Ammara Khan briefed on the RDA projects of kitchen gardening, rain water harvesting and creation of economic zones along the Ring Road. The participants appreciated the RDA projects. 

During the conference, amendments to the Private Housing Schemes Rules 2010 and proposal to introduce similar rules in all developmental authorities were also proposed. 

The participants agreed to the proposal and expressed their pleasure. 

The provincial housing minister decided that a committee comprising three DGs, three Chairmen and a representative of the office of Secretary Housing would be notified in the next three to four days.

In the light of the proposals, the rules will be finalized and will be implemented after the Punjab cabinet decision. Implementing these rules will increase the revenue of development authorities. Illegal housing schemes and buildings can also be brought into the tax net. 

“To get all the water and sanitation agencies (WASAs) out of the revenue deficit, it was suggested to increase water charges as drinking water is available anywhere in the world. Not as low-priced as it is in Pakistan and that’s why no one here has any sense of clean water usage,” the housing minister said and urged the development authorities to select a suitable site for the Naya Pakistan housing project.

He also said that the rules of low cost housing project will be made in a few days under which the PHATA will be given authority to prepare a low cost housing project. 

The minister added that the Punjab government is also preparing JV rules under which government agencies will be able to build affordable housing in collaboration with private sector partners, which is a successful model in the world. Finally, all the chairmen and others met RDA chairman Tariq Mahmood Murtaza and thanked him for convening the conference and for giving an opportunity to the development authorities to discuss their issues with each other.