NAB Launches Probe Against CDA For ‘Favouring’ Apartment Building Owner

Dawn

ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has launched an investigation against the Capital Development Authority (CDA) for giving alleged undue favour to the owner of a plot meant for residential apartments in the Diplomatic Enclave.

Sources in the CDA said through a letter NAB had sought details of the approval of the building plan along with the photographs of the building.

“On Friday, we received a letter in which NAB sought details of Plot No 14-A and approval of the building plan,” said an officer of the CDA who requested not to be named.

CDA asked to provide details of plot located in Diplomatic Enclave along with its building plan

The sources said in 2010-12 contrary to the terms and conditions of the original allotment the civic agency allegedly deducted a portion of the circulation area to enhance the covered area and number of apartments in the building.

The NAB letter dated July 31, which was received by CDA on Friday, stated: “NAB is conducting a complaint verification under the provision of NAO 1999.” It directed the CDA “to provide copy of complete record pertaining to Plot No 14-A, Diplomatic Enclave G-5, copy of rules, policy CDA Board approval for exemption of circulation/service area during calculation of permissible covered area/floor area ratio (FAR).”

It also directed the CDA to provide a copy of minutes of meetings and the CDA board decision dated Jan 17, 2012, regarding fixation of rates/charges for additional covered area/FAR.

The letter said a recent site report along with photographs should also be provided to NAB.

The copy of the minutes of meetings and the CDA board decision dated Dec 24, 1989, pertaining to the permission of residential-use basement on recovery of extra charges.

The residential apartment business saw a boom during the last two decades in Islamabad as a large number of such buildings were built in various parts of the capital city.

The sources said the CDA had auctioned around 30 plots on which residential apartments were constructed.

However, only one apartment building has the completion certificate from the CDA and the remaining structures are being used/occupied without the mandatory certificate.

The completion or occupancy certificate is issued after a detailed audit of the building to check whether it is constructed in accordance with the approved building plan, has adequate safety measures to deal with emergencies and above all if the building is stable.

However, the sources said, almost all owners of such buildings violated the building plans and avoided to get the completion certificate.

The CDA, according to the sources, most of the time kept itself restricted to issuing notices only.

The sources said Margalla Tower, which collapsed in the 2005 earthquake, was also occupied by its owner without obtaining the completion certificate.

Meanwhile, in addition to the 30 apartment buildings constructed on auctioned plots, there are a large numbers of buildings in rural area which have been built without getting approval from the CDA.

“Though apartments constructed in urban areas have not gotten completion certificates, they were constructed within some discipline. But structures in rural area were constructed only at the will of the owners what to talk about building plans,” said an official.

When contacted, CDA spokesperson Syed Safdar Ali confirmed that NAB had sought the record pertaining to 14-A plot in Diplomatic Enclave.

“We will provide them complete details soon,” he said, adding an inquiry pertaining to approval of the building plan/circulation area was already in progress.

“We will expedite our inquiry and if it is established that our officers had given undue favour to the owner of the building, strict action will be taken against them,” he said.

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