Rawalpindi -Chairman, Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA), Tariq Mehmood Murtaza on Monday advised citizens to check status of the housing societies from the Metropolitan Planning and Traffic Engineering (MP&TE) Directorate, RDA or visit the RDA website rda.gop.pk to know the status of the housing projects before any investment.

He informed that the staff of the Directorate of MP&TE along with police and Elite Force was regularly conducting operations against illegal housing schemes. The site offices of the illegal housing projects were also being sealed while the booking offices were being demolished, he added.

Under a campaign launched against illegal housing societies, advertisements were published in national dailies for awareness of the general public, he added. He informed that the authority was conducting regular operations against rules violators including plazas, shops, schools, and other illegal land use encroachments.

The Chairman said the department imposed fines and commercialization fee was also collected from various residential cum commercial buildings owners for constructing illegal residential cum commercial buildings without approval of map/No Objection Certificates (NOCs), in violation of Punjab Development of Cities Act 1976 and RDA Building and Zoning Regulations 2020.

He said the authorities concerned had been directed to take strict action against encroachments, illegal and unauthorized constructions, and commercial activities without any discrimination. To another question he informed that under a new policy introduced to promote construction activities in the district, the building plans were being approved in 30 days, approval of change of land use in 45 days, and approval of housing schemes in 75 days.

 He added that implementing austerity measures as per the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar, RDA saved Rs189 million from its non-development expenditures.

One Window Operation Centre equipped with modern facilities was set up in RDA to facilitate the citizens. The entire record of RDA’s State Management Directorate had been digitized while the work of process automation was also started. The RDA also issuing notices to the owners of the illegal housing schemes, he added.

Around 101 First Information Reports were lodged against illegal housing schemes while nine applications for registration of cases were under process, he said adding, RDA had also sealed offices of 47 schemes while boundary walls and main gates of 16 illegal housing schemes were demolished besides removal of their billboards during the period.