Federal government constituted a commission to review the master plan of Islamabad.
Minister for Interior Ijaz Ahmed Shah informed the Senate that the constituted commission prioritized its work according to the Terms of References (TORs) for short and long term measures and gave its suggestions.
He also said that the commission submitted various suggestion in this regard including reviewing proposed building bye-laws and planning parameters and review of modalities and procedures for development of private housing schemes in Islamabad and identify grey areas for its improvement.
The commission will also examine the solid waste management especially in rural areas around the Rawal Lake, Zone-III and Zone-IV, he added.
He said that the commission suggested a number of solutions for long standing issues of Islamabad which are to be reviewed by the consultants. He added the commission presented its report before the Prime Minister on October 07, 2019 and also in the federal cabinet meeting.
Hiring of Consultant
The PTI government had formed a commission in December 2018 to revise the master plan.
But after holding a series of meetings, the commission addressed some issues such as bylaws of commercial buildings but left the comprehensive revision of the city’s blueprint to the consultant.
The matter was later placed before the federal cabinet which in October last year directed the CDA to hire an international consultant for revising the master plan in collaboration with the Planning Commission.
After a gap of almost one year, the CDA has finally decided to invite applications from reputed firms.
Officials said an advertisement had been booked in two international newspapers, which were likely to be published in a couple of weeks.
Citing the reason of delay, CDA spokesperson Mazhar Hussain told that “we had to complete all procedures before hiring the consultant.”
He said the revision of the master plan was a gigantic task and “we did utmost care in finalising things before booking the ads.”
Sources in the CDA said once hired the consultant firm will propose solutions to several issues being confronted by the civic agency for a few decades.
Thousands of people had built homes and other structures in parts of the capital where construction was not allowed under the original master plan. The CDA, which is responsible for regulating buildings all over the capital, did not attempt to halt the unauthorised construction beyond the planned sectors that resulted in the mushroom growth of the unauthorised construction.
Consultant will propose a solution to the problem. Similarly, they said, high-rise buildings have already been constructed in non-permissible areas while the city is also dotted with unauthorised housing schemes.
History of Master Plan
Islamabad’s master plan was prepared in 1960 and supposed to be revised after every 20 years. But successive governments did not make proper revisions in accordance with the city’s emerging needs.
As per Master Plan, the metropolitan area of Islamabad was divided into three major parts i.e Islamabad, National Park (Islamabad Park), Rawalpindi and the Cantonment.
In 1963 the Capital of the Republic (Determination of Area) Ordinance was promulgated and the specified area in the schedule measuring three hundred and fifty square miles (350 square miles or 906 Sq. Km) or thereabout within the district of Rawalpindi in the Province of Punjab at the site selected for the Capital of Pakistan was declared the area of the Capital of the Republic. Thus the area of Rawalpindi and Rawalpindi Cantonment was separated from the Master Plan of Islamabad.
In 1986 and 2005 CDA made two comprehensive reviews of the Master Plan of Islamabad but both reviews could not obtain approval of the Federal Cabinet.
On the other hand, over 40 selective changes were made by different governments without an input from professional consultants.
In compliance of the Supreme Court Order in SMC 10 of 2007, CDA amended the ICT Zoning Regulations 1992 in 2010 in which the Zone-4 of Islamabad was further subdivided into 4 Zones.
In 2015, government promulgated the Islamabad Local Government Act 2015 and Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad was established to perform the municipal functions in Islamabad. The whole city was divided into 50 Union Councils including the sectoral area.
Hope of New Master Plan
“This time, we have very good chance of revising the master plan and will make every effort to get the task completed during the tenure of the incumbent government,” said an official of the CDA, hinting that the revision could take two years.