Ordinance on Illegal Housing Projects in Pakistan
The Punjab government has passed an order prohibiting the construction of unauthorized residential complexes in Pakistan. The regulation establishes a high commission to investigate the operations of illegal housing societies. This will help in bringing projects that are being constructed on the agricultural property into compliance.
The legislation is officially known as “The Punjab Commission for Regularization of Irregular Housing Schemes Ordinance 2021“, following the notification.
According to the ordinance, the Punjab Provincial Assembly is not in session; however, the governor of Punjab is certain that conditions exist that necessitate quick action. So, in exercising the jurisdiction provided by clause 1 of Article-128 of the constitution, the governor Punjab is pleased to enact and proclaim this ordinance (sic).
The Structure of the Commission.
The ordinance announcement also describes the members and the structure of the commission. A retired judge will lead the commission from Pakistan’s Supreme Court. This judge will act as the chairperson for the organization. The group will also include a legal advisor and a civil engineer. Finally, an environmentalist who possesses national and foreign work experience will also join the commission team.
Powers of the Commission.
The commission’s goal will be to regulate unlawful housing projects Residential projects erected on green land are considered as illegal societies. It’s not necessary for a housing scheme to be illegal only if they’re built on green land. Some communities fail to get the NOC or permission approvals from the relevant authorities. Without the NOC, the society is deemed illegal.
The commission will possess the authority to impose fines on unlicensed developers. It will also suggest that the sponsors or developers of the project face disciplinary action. Aside from that, the commission will also possess the authority to regularize any land that is not in compliance.
The commission will decide all situations that are not addressed by the present legislation. The commission will also be able to request land records from the appropriate agencies and authorities. Finally, the commission will have the power to call the owners, sponsors, the developers of unlawful housing schemes, and any other interested parties to resolve the situation.
Under the legislation on illegal and unauthorized residential constructions, the commission must have the same jurisdiction as a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure 1908 in carrying out its tasks. All of the commission’s proceedings will be treated as judicial proceedings.
Section 193 and Section 228 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1898 will determine the capacity of these procedures. It will make a decision on each application within a period of 3 months after the start of the proceedings, preferably even sooner.
The Application of the Ordinance on Illegal Housing Projects.
The legislation further states that any residential development scheme that does not meet the legal standards will be fined 2% of the total land value. Suppose the residential project is built without any parks or public open spaces. In that case, the Commission will be allowed to impose a fine equal to two times the deficient land’s residential value.
In the event that space for the cemetery is not allocated, the Commission will be permitted to impose a fine of two times the shortfall land’s residential value. The housing societies will be obligated to acquire and assign space for the graveyard within a five-kilometer radius.
In accordance with the ordinance, the Commission will be allowed to impose three times the worth of the said housing scheme’s deficit land as a penalty for lack of accessible public space.
Suppose a residential project fails to fulfill the required criteria for road construction to connect to the main road. In that case, the developers will have to pay a fine. The fine will be three times the value of the deficit land as determined by the appropriate residential valuation table.
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