ISLAMABAD-The Capital Development Authority has failed to take action against the owners of high rise economy flats buildings in sector F-11 that are using their basements for residential purpose.

The owners of Safa Heights, Golden Heights, Tariq Heights, Sughrah Towers, Karakuram, and Abuzabi Towers situated in sector F-11 and few others in G-11 have converted their basements into residential floors in connivance with then officials deputed in Building Control Section-I of CDA.

According to their approved building plans, these basements were meant for car parking only but same were converted into residential apartments. These illegal apartments are rented out against a monthly rent ranging between Rs50,000 to Rs100,000 while in some cases the apartments had also been sold to private individuals by the owners.

However, the Building Control Section which is directly responsible for such a shear violation of its building bylaws is limited to serving notices only. There is no will on part of CDA to remove these illegal apartments from the basements because the owners earn millions of rupees per month and the relevant officials get their share from this additional but illegal revenue.

The construction of apartments in basements is not only the violation of CDA’s bylaws and approved building plans but the same is a potential hazard for people living in the vicinity as well. In case of fire eruption or any other accident, the eviction of people is quite difficult from these buildings.   

Meanwhile, in absence of car parking for the residents and visitors, it has also become a traffic issue as most of the people park their vehicles in front of these buildings on main road.

When tried to know, it has been learnt that during the construction of these buildings about 170 such apartments being built in the basements were demolished by CDA in 2004, however, later on the officials deputed in BCS favoured the owners and these parking lots were converted into flats.

At present about 300 such flats are constructed in the parking basements and CDA is reluctant to take action against this illegality. The CDA officials not only remained under hibernation on this massive deviation from the building bylaws but in 2011 one of such building named Abuzabi Towers was also issued completion certificate contrary to the rules.

Mr. Aziz Qureshi, Mr. Khalil and Ammar Idrees was member planning, director and deputy director BCS respectively at that time while then Chairman Farkhand Iqbal was also behind the issuance of completion certificate to this building which had about a hundred illegal apartments. Building Control Section had issued notices to the owners of these economy flats in sector F-11 on violation of building by-laws in February 2020 but no action against them has been taken so far.

When contacted, the Director Building Control Muhammad Fasil Naeem said that the authority has given the notices as the apartments are illegal. He said we are going to issue last warning to the owners of these building in this week after which we will conduct operation on site to remove illegal structures.

However, the residents living in these buildings demanded that the illegal apartments should be sealed and converted to the parking space again while they asked for a strict action against those officers of CDA who remained silent spectator during this whole episode.