One-window operation: DHA cell to streamline process for building plans

KARACHIThe Defence Housing Authority (DHA) has established a Central Control Cell (CCC) to guide residents in the process of completing formalities to get the approval of the building plan for the construction of houses.

The CCC, which was set up on the directions of DHA’s executive board president Lt Gen Mohammad Ijaz Chaudry, is fully operational and is located at the front entrance of DHA’s head office in Phase-I. Its timings are from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm, Mondays through Fridays. Representatives of the DHA, Cantonment Board Clifton and Military Estate Office, who are involved in the process for approving building plans, would assist the residents in completing the formalities. “This one-window operation will reduce processing time by half,” said a DHA handout.

Building plans are approved once the site plan and “A” lease are also submitted at the CCC office. This is followed by a demarcation letter and no-objection certificate by DHA and CBC.

After the construction is completed, the resident is required to submit the completion plan to the DHA for approval. The housing society would then issue an occupancy certificate.

The computerised system will be monitored by senior authorities to ensure that it runs in a smooth and a transparent manner. CCC director Brig (retd) Hassan Raza urged residents to bring their applications to the office with full confidence. All forms and documents can be downloaded from DHA’s website.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 16th, 2012.

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Real estate case: Court wants a look at Zamzama-I original layout

KARACHIThe Sindh High Court has summoned the original record of the plot commonly known as Zam-I.

The petition was filed by Waleed Khanzada, who has questioned how amenity land was converted into a multi-storey commercial complex with a Cineplex and bowling alley. According to the petitioner, the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) had leased 8,000 square yards to a developer in 1987. Only 70% was reserved for construction while the remaining 30% (2,400 square yards) was to be used for amenities, such as internal roads, parking lots, sidewalks and parks.

The agreement was, however, violated by the developer and the entire 8,000 square yards were covered. Instead of taking action, DHA allotted another 3,600 square yards to the constructor. The matter was taken up in another petition in 2010 and a SHC bench ordered that it would be treated as a separate petition.

The plot is located in one of the priciest neighbourhoods of the city, the Zamzama Boulevard in Phase V.

On Wednesday, Chief Justice Mushir Alam and Justice Syed Muhammad Farooq Shah took up the case.  The bench directed DHA’s lawyer to ensure that an officer appears in court with the original record of the entire plot of Zamzama-I with the original layout plan and any order saying that the plot’s status has been changed. The case has lingered on for one reason or another, but all the lawyers have agreed to a conclusive hearing. The case was adjourned until September 5.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 16th, 2012.

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After six years, Islamabad okays Karachi’s water project

KARACHI: To belabour a pun, Islamabad had pretty much pulled the plug on Karachi’s new water supply project until the president stepped in. On Wednesday it was back on track as the Central Development Working Party, the highest government body to take decisions on important projects, approved the K-IV project in its meeting held in Islamabad.

The Greater Karachi Water Supply Scheme or K-IV will cost Rs29 billion to pump to the city an additional supply of 260 million gallons per day (mgd) from the Indus River.

The federal government had initially refused to finance the project, citing lack of funds. The bureaucrats sitting in the capital were of the view that since provincial autonomy had been granted after the 18th amendment, Sindh should fix its own water woes. Karachi wrung its hands in despair as it doesn’t even have enough money to pay garbage collectors.

But now, upon the intervention of President Asif Ali Zardari, the federal government has agreed to foot 33% of the bill in the first phase. The remaining funds will be arranged by the provincial and district governments. The project is expected to take four years.

The K-IV project has constantly hit snags since it was conceived in 2006 by then Karachi nazim Mustafa Kamal given the severe water shortage in Karachi. The city needs 1,000 mgd but the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board only provides around 600 mgd. Leaks and water theft are the biggest drains on the system.

“We are really thankful to all those who have taken this initiative to get the project approved,” said Muttahida Qaumi Movement legislator Khalid Ahmed, a staunch supporter of the project, who always raised it during the Sindh Assembly session. Continue reading

DHA establishes central control cell

KARACHI - The DHA has established a new facility for residents by the name of central control cell (CCC) to help and guide the residents/applicants in completion of all formalities involved in the process of approval of building plan for construction of houses in DHA.

A statement on Wednesday said that the CCC has already started functioning and is fully operational. It said that the setup established on the instruction of Commander 5 Corps, Lt Gen Muhammad Ijaz Chaudry, who is also President Executive Board DHA, is a user interface facility. At Central Control Cell the representatives of DHA, CBC and MEO involved in the intricate process of Building Plan approval would sit together under one roof to assist the residents in completion of all requisite formalities.

The `One Window Operation’ would provide a great relief to the residents and drastically curtail the processing time to half. The Central Control Building is located at the front entrance of Main Office Complex of Defence Housing Authority in DHA Phase-I. At the CCC there are separate counters for DHA, CBC and MEO representatives. The three organizations work in complete unison and co-ordination to speed up the entire process. The system is fully computerized and will be monitored at the highest level to ensure transparency and smooth working of the process. A team of dedicated staff under a manager is available at CCC to facilitate and guide the residents. The Central Control will monitor every case from the beginning till end through all the processing stages. The CCC is open from Monday to Friday from 0930 Hrs to 1600 hours.

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Going green: Half million saplings to be planted in capital

ISLAMABAD: 

The Capital Development Authority (CDA) will plant 500,000 saplings during 2012’s monsoon tree plantation campaign. This was announced by CDA Chairman Farkhand Iqbal as he inaugurated the campaign in Sector G-14 near Kashmir Highway on Wednesday, a CDA statement said.

The civic body chief said that the authority is making efforts to increase green cover and preserve the green character of the federal capital.

He said that CDA plans to plant 180,000 saplings in the urban areas of Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), such as along avenues and on green belts, parks, playfields and new sectors.

Moreover, the CDA chairman said that 320,000 saplings will be planted in the Margalla Hills and the Simly catchment area. Out of these, 200,000 trees will be planted on Margalla Hills as a part of the authority’s effort to increase greenery in the Margalla Hills National Park.

Iqbal said the CDA is focusing on planting indigenous species and fruit trees including Chir Pine, Kachnar, Amaltas, Dhreak, Jacaranda, Olive and Jaman. He said the CDA is involving the public, educational institutions, NGOs, government employees and traders to make this campaign a success.

Under the awareness campaign, poster, banners and streamers have been displayed in different areas of the city while bumper stickers, paper bags and badges carrying slogans for planting trees are also being distributed, the chairman added. Continue reading

EOBI employees get 150 acres land

Karachi

Logo of Government of Sindh

Logo of Government of Sindh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The land utilisation department, Board of Revenue, Government of Sindh, has allocated 150 acres of land on a 99-year lease in favour of the Employees Old-age Benefits Institution (EOBI) Employees Cooperative Housing Society Limited, Karachi, a press release issued on Wednesday said.

Earlier, Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah approved the allotment of the land for this purpose. According to EOBI Publicity Secretary Israr Ayoubi, plots available in categories of 120, 240, 400 and 600 yards would be offered for ownership on a first come, first serve basis.

The members of the housing society, including officers and staff, who have not yet taken membership of the project, should immediately pay their monthly subscription dues till September 30, 2012, the date of submission of forms for getting a plot, he said.

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Cashing in on the monsoon

ISLAMABAD - The Capital Development Authority (CDA) would plant 500,000 saplings during the monsoon plantation campaign.

This was announced by CDA Chairman Engineer Farkhand Iqbal while inaugurating the monsoon tree plantation campaign in Sector G-14, Kashmir Highway, on Wednesday.

The CDA chairman said the civic body was making all-out efforts to increase the green cover and preserve the green character of the federal capital. He said the CDA had planned to plant 180,000 trees in the urban areas of the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).

These saplings would be planted in avenues, greenbelts, Islamabad Highway, parks, playfields and new sectors. The CDA chairman said that 320,000 saplings would be planted in the suburbs, including Margalla Hills and Simly catchments. Out of these, 200,000 trees would be planted in Margalla Hills as a part of the effort to further increase greenery in the Margalla Hills National Park whereas 120,000 saplings would be planted in the Simly catchments.

He said the CDA was focusing on planting indigenous species and fruit trees, including chir pine, kachnar, amaltas, dhreak, jacaranda, olive and jaman etc.

The chairman reiterated that strict monitoring of the planted saplings would be carried out to ensure their maximum survival.

He said the CDA was seeking cooperation of the general public, educational institutions, NGOs, government employees and traders to make this campaign successful.

Comprehensive arrangements have been made to raise awareness in this regard so that maximum people could be involved in the plantation drive. Under the awareness campaign, posters, banners and streamers have been displayed in different areas of the city whereas car stickers, paper bags and badges carrying slogans for planting trees are being distributed. Continue reading

Despite passage of 24 years, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) has failed to develop Sector E-12 in the capital.

ISLAMABAD - Despite passage of 24 years, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) has failed to develop Sector E-12 in the capital.

The allotees, talking to INP, complained that due to the slackness of the civic body, the sector could not be developed while a large number of allotees had passed away during the course of waiting for the development work.

They said the CDA had opened Sector E-12 some 24 years back, but failed to acquire the land and initiate uplift work.
It should be mentioned here that former prime minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, during the inauguration ceremony of Sector D-12, had directed the CDA to initiate development work at the earliest, but nothing has happened practically.
The situation has caused unrest among the allottees as cash-starved CDA could not complete the uplift work. Continue reading