islamabad - The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has found dozens of commercial plots in non-conforming use in different sectors of the city, and the properties are being used in violation of the terms and conditions for the allotment, The Nation has learnt.

The sources in the CDA told The Nation that the plots were actually allotted for the purposes other than their use at present. The commercial plots were purpose-specific and their category cannot be changed, according to the CDA officials. They said shopping malls, schools and offices cannot be established on the plots allotted for setting up hospitals, clinics, hotels etc.

Many schools are being operated on the plots actually allotted for industry in sector I-9 Industrial Area which is not only a violation of the law but also a threat to the health of the students enrolled there. The CDA officials have spotted branches of Roots Schools, Global System of Integrated Studies (GSIS), and Beacon House School System on the plots meant for industry in the Industrial Zone in sector I-9. The schools have been set up in the vicinity of marble factories and other industrial units emitting smoke and dangerous gases. The students are exposed to pollution and toxic matter, the CDA officials who supervised the survey in the regard said. The CDA’s Building Control Section had sealed GSIS last week over the same reasons. “Notices have been sent to the management of these schools for shifting their establishments from the industrial zone so that the students don’t face any health problems,” said a senior CDA officer who is privy to the campaign. It is to mention here that the Building Control Section had conducted survey of the city some weeks back to detect irregularities and non-conforming use of the commercial properties. The survey was part of the CDA’s efforts to end non-conforming use of the properties as has been the case with the residential properties.

According to the officials, plots were allotted to some madrassas in sector H-8 but these properties are also under non-conforming use. A total of 9 cases of non-conforming use of commercial plots have so far been identified in sector H-8 and H-9, according to the list prepared by the BCS. According to the documents, the plot on which Iqra University (Islamabad Campus) has been set up in sector H-9 was actually allotted for a hospital. Similarly, another educational institution has been set up in sector H-9 on the plot which was allotted for some other purpose.

Al-Jannat Shopping Mall, outlets of ‘Bata’ and ‘Servis’ and KIPS Academy have been set up in a building in Karachi Company markaz plot which was actually allotted for a hotel. Similarly, plot number 7 in Super Market was allotted for setting up a hotel (Shaher Zad) but the building is being used by “Best Price” store. The owners have not only been found violating allotment’s terms and conditions but the building is being used before it is completed. The building is under construction and the owners have yet not obtained “Completion Certificate” from the CDA but started using it which is another violation of the law, according to the CDA officials. “Save Mart” has been set up on the plot allotted to set up a marriage hall in G-6 markaz. That building too is still under construction. The owners have also built two additional storey illegally, according to the CDA record. A school has been set up on a commercial plot in Diplomatic Enclave. Similarly a branch of a private bank has been set up on a plot actually allotted for a hotel in sector G-6.

According to the CDA officials, notices have been sent to the violators and they have been asked the end non-conforming use of the properties otherwise strict action will be taken against them.  A senior official at the CDA said that CDA has been striving to end non-conforming of the properties and the action would continue in the coming days as well.