islamabad-Most of the approved housing societies in the limits of Islamabad Capital Territory are directly disposing sewage in the nearby nullahs which is harming human health and disturbing the eco system, said a report.

Similarly, the untreated waste from different hospitals, maternity homes and industrial sites is also going to the nullahs. There is a severe lack of interest on part of the directorates of Environment and Sanitation and there is a dire need to examine the housing societies within the limits of ICT on their cleanliness, and sewage system after which appropriate action should be taken. The BCS is in the process of bringing the approved housing societies under the ambit of CDA. However, despite several awareness campaigns and seminars about the procedures/SOPs for completion of the building plan and repeated warnings and show-cause notices from CDA, the response from the management of these housing societies has been highly disappointing.

Housing schemes in the area of Bhara Kahu are discarding their sewage in different nullahs which ultimately reaches Rawal Dam, a prime source of water for the neighbouring garrison city. The administration of the garrison city is supplying filthy water of Rawal Dam to the residents without treatment.

The Supreme Court had also taken a suo moto notice of the issue in 2010 but nothing changed. Illegal settlements in Zone-III at the foothills of the Margallas are the main culprits behind the pollution in the main water reservoir. Despite a ban on construction activity in Zone-III, which had been declared a National Park Area in the early 60s, one can see numerous settlements thriving there. The waste from these residential colonies spills into Rawal Dam totalling to 5 million gallons of sewage a day.

The dam falls in the territorial limits of the CDA but its water is supplied to Rawalpindi through WASA. Around 25 housing colonies including Golf City Bahria Town, Atomic Energy Employees Cooperative Housing Colony, OGDC Housing Colony, Country Residencia Apartments, Godha Gali, Tret Village, Salgran Village, Bidhawa Village, DESTO Lab, Madina Town, Al Noor Colony, Lakhwal Village, Dhoke Jilani, Shahdra Kass Area, PTV Housing Colony, Belgium Town, Margalla View Housing Colony, Snober Village, Najaf Colony, Judicial Colony Chattar, Bani Gala Town, Bhara Kahu, Bari Imam/Noorpur Shahan, Quaid-i-Azam University and Diplomatic Enclave are responsible for discharging sewage into Rawal Dam. The Diplomatic Enclave is contributing to the contamination as well.

The CDA has approved more than 50 housing societies/schemes and majority of them have violated the approved lay out plan. A recent survey conducted on the direction of Islamabad High Court also found several other discrepancies in the affairs of the housing schemes while different directorates of CDA have been looking at one another for the action that is required under the law. The Planning Wing has asked the Building Control Section to take action against the housing societies and make them conform with the laws while the BCS responded that that all such cases should be referred to the Enforcement Directorate for action as BCS is not responsible to take any action, according to the documents exclusively available with this scribe.

Highlighting another issue caused by the housing societies, the report said most of the housing societies in the limits of ICT are directly drawing down water through wells which is disturbing the underneath water level/aquifer. “The city is already witnessing acute water shortage and cannot meet the requirement even of its CDA-established sectors,” the report suggested. It asked all the concerned parties to seek information from all the approved housing societies/schemes about the source of water and to examine their actual demand on site. It further stated that they must ensure that the housing societies have available source of water and they must be convinced to build check dams so that ground water could be recharged continuously and no further approval is to be granted to any of the schemes unless proper study of its source of water and ground verification is conducted.

The BCS has further suggested that all the private housing societies/schemes which are using CDA’s Right of Way should be charged for the same in addition to levying charges for sharing construction cost of the roads for reason of traffic impact generated from allowing housing societies/schemes, in the respective areas. It said the CDA should anticipate charges for construction of roads/other allied services while allowing any private society besides levying commercialization charges of land, which at present not being charged. It further suggested that the directorates of traffic, regional planning, urban planning, and housing societies must come into action to implement the proposal. However, according to the sources, the response of the concerned directorates of the CDA is very poor.

 

They were asked by the BCS on January 18, 2018 and reminders were sent on 9 February 2018 but response action from all the concerned is still awaited, according to the sources.