After the order by the Apex Court to rid the city’s residential areas of commercial activity the Capital Development Authority (CDA) launched an operation against commercial utilization of the residential sectors of Islamabad. Notices were handed out and many non-conforming places were sealed. The CDA’s initial drive after the Apex Court’s order was commendable indeed but over the past few weeks it seems to have slowed down once again. According to a recent media report during the operation against commercial activities in the residential areas of the Federal Capital, some 203 buildings were sealed by the CDA out of a total of 1695 buildings Whereas the owners vacated 305 buildings voluntarily, the interesting fact is that yet no action was taken against some 1187 buildings. Many businesses and even government offices still continue to function in the city’s residential areas with the authority not doing much about it. The presence of businesses in residential areas not only violate CDA’s building bye-laws but in addition to eliminating privacy of the residents are also a source of utter nuance for the residents. During peak hours traffic often gets choked in residential areas where schools, colleges and academies are housed. The practice also causes losses of millions to the authority which if received by the authority could be spent on the betterment of the city. The key question is as to why the Capital Development Authority is reluctant to launch a full scale operation against violators. The absence of concrete steps against this menace suggests that some in the authority are beneficiaries of this illegal practice. Moreover non-action against violators sends a message to others that the authority is fine with illegal practices in the capital.
The illegal use of residential areas for commercial purpose is going on unhindered.