Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) Chairman Tariq Mehmood Murtaza, has warned citizens against investing in illegal and unlicensed housing schemes, advising them to verify the status of housing societies to avoid scams.
Prospective buyers can do so by visiting the RDA’s Metropolitan Planning and Traffic Engineering (MP&TE) Directorate or logging on to RDA’s official website.
Murtaza said that RDA was regularly conducting raids against illegal housing schemes and plazas, stores, schools, and any residential or commercial construction encroaching land that is not theirs.
Strict action in accordance with the law was being taken against the violators of rules, he added, saying that no one would be allowed to cheat the public.
Fines are being imposed on owners of properties found constructing illegal residential cum commercial buildings without approval of map or without obtaining No Objection Certificates (NOCs) in violation of Punjab Development of Cities Act 1976 and RDA Building and Zoning Regulations 2020.
Moreover, legal notices have been issued to 307 housing projects, while 91 challans and 112 FIRs have also been registered since July 2018.
Offices of 135 schemes have been sealed for malpractices and boundary walls, along with main gates of 61 illegal housing schemes, have been demolished during the same period.
Property dealers have also been warned against investing in and advertising illegal housing schemes.
The RDA chief said that under a new policy introduced to promote construction activities in the district, building plans were being approved in 30 days, approval of a change of land use in 45 days and approval of housing schemes in 75 days.
He further shared that during the last financial year, 1,600 maps of residential and multi-storey buildings were approved; a record in the history of RDA.
Implementing austerity measures as per the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar, the RDA had saved Rs189 million from its non-development expenditures, claimed Murtaza.
For citizens’ facilitation, a one-window operation centre equipped with modern facilities has been set up by RDA.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 8th, 2021.