No building bylaws are applicable to the Defence Housing Authority in Karachi!
Karachi, Nov 13 (ANI): Putting aside building by-laws, the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) in Karachi, which makes tall claims about upholding building control laws and clamping down on violations in its area, has allowed a restaurant to come up and caring out a parking space by blocking a service road of the Beach Avenue.
It is learnt that the DHA has a stake in the restaurant - Floating Ship. The project has been claimed to be the world's first stationary cruise ship being built on the Seaview and DHA has referred it as the "ninth wonder of the world."
In the past, there have been public protests over the manner in which the DHA has allowed the restaurant to be built on a public beach. The "Sahil Bachao Tehreek", a social organization, said that by allowing the restaurant to be built on a portion of the beach, the passage of beach visitors was being cut off at high tide by the restaurant that juts out onto the public beach area.
But, denying flouting any rules, DHA Director (Special Projects) Brigadier Iftikhar Haider said that no law has been broken with the Floating Ship restaurant blocking off the service lane on Main Seaview Road (Beach Avenue) to make a parking area for the restaurant. He said that the permission to build a parking area by closing off a service lane is "allowed in the Master Plan approved by the DHA's higher-ups in 2007", reported The News.
Brigadier Haider, however, could not cite the exact resolution under which the permission was given to allow a service lane to be converted into a parking lot.
Rejecting haider's claim, the paper said that by all accounts, however, this does not go with the Master Plan philosophy as encroachment of service lanes is not allowed under any town-planning proposal. Under DHA bylaws (2007), there is no provision under which any service lane or utility road can be converted to use by a specific enterprise, let alone a commercial venture like a restaurant, added the paper.
The majority stake owner in the Floating Ship project, Raees Ahmad, said that there was "no irregularity" in the allocation of parking space to the Floating Ship restaurant.
DHA spokesman said he had to "look into details" to explain why this irregularity was allowed. (ANI)
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