ISLAMABAD  - The concerned departments have been asked to take notice of commercial use of residential units in various sectors of the federal capital, which is posing security threats to the dwellers.

Citizens appealed that a comprehensive campaign should be launched against violators in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) to stop any other activity in the areas, which is only allowed for accommodation purposes particularly in wake of threats from terrorists.

They demanded that owners of such units should be directed to rent their places after complete verification and avoid giving it to any group or company for any business purpose.

They asked that there should be a complete verification process before giving accommodation to any one in residential areas of federal capital like police verification and clearance report and taking into confidence of notables of the area.

The citizens said without completing such process no one should be allowed to use such house even for living while concerned departments should make sure that each housing unit has nameplate having complete details of occupant outside the house for clear identification.

According to them, besides security threats from commercial use of residential units the prices of rental and purchase property in these residential areas have hiked up and become unaffordable for common people.

They claimed that Islamabad Residential Sectors Zoning (Building-Control) Regulations 1993 is being violated while the Capital Development Authority (CDA) is taking no serious action against the non-conforming use of residential areas in the federal capital.

It is pertinent to mention here that the government had promulgated “The Islamabad Residential Sectors Zoning (Building-Control) Regulations 1993. Its sub-section 5.02 and 5.03 of Section 5 Ban on non-conforming uses state that no land or building will be put to a non-conforming use.

The law clearly mentions that any building or structure that is not permitted under the law will either be removed or converted into a building law penalises the owner and the occupant of the building with heavy fines and dispossession. Moreover the allotment deed of the plot may also be cancelled.

The dwellers of the houses in close vicinity to the embassies and missions have to suffer persistently because of the security arrangements made for them.

The schools and hostels situated in residential areas not only increase pressure over the civic facilities provided in the area, but also produce hurdles in the mobility of vehicular traffic as hundreds of vehicles enter and leave the area during the times of opening and closing.

Another disadvantage of ignoring this vital issue is that the commercial offices opened in the residential sectors have badly affected the commercial areas of the capital city, which is causing a huge loss to the national economy,” said Atif Aslam, a student.

In violation of regulations, such commercial offices are opened in the residential areas of the federal capital including NGOs, schools, chambers, businesses and embassies. These offices are located in sectors including F-7, F-6, F-8, and G-6, G-10, E-7 and F-10.