The Association of Builders and Developers has expressed its concerns over by-laws of the Gwadar Development Authority with regard to construction of housing schemes and commercial zones in the port city.
Junaid Taloo, a senior ABAD member, said that Gwadar Town Planning Regulations, 2020 have superseded the Town Planning Regulations, 2004. This according to him was not good for builders.
“These regulations should not supersede the Town Planning Regulations, 2004-2005,” he said. “Town Planning Regulations, 2020 should be implemented only on new housing schemes.”
Taloo said the Clause 76 of the Town Planning Regulations, 2019 must be added to the new regulations.
The clause says: Existing schemes shall not be affected by the new planning standards. However, in the event of any conflict between the land zoning of the Master Plan and an existing scheme, the guidelines of the Master Plan shall prevail.
The builder objected to Para-III of the 2020 regulations which says the Town Planning director has the powers to suspend an NoC in case of any irregularity or violation of rules.
He said the Town Planning director could not suspend any NoC prior to informing sponsors, builders and developers of a project about their deviation, irregularity and violation, if any.
Taloo said if no response is received from sponsors, builders and developers, only then the director has the discretionary powers to suspend the NOC.
He also spoke about Clause 3 of the Town Planning Regulations, 2020. It states: The GDA Land Management Director will register the mortgage deed within the Authority, besides looking after amenities and reserved land of the Authority.
The amenities should be looked after by sponsors, builders and developers, according to Taloo. However, the authority has the right to look after and develop the GDA’s reserved land that requires to be incorporated.
The builder also voiced objection to the time limit for scrutiny of applications for planning permission. He was referring to the Town Planning Regulations, 2020 in which it is stated that the “planning permission shall be granted or refused by the committee in a period not exceeding 60 days from the date of acceptance of the application for planning permission in the office of the Director Town Planning.”
Taloo said if an application for planning permission is neither approved nor refused within 60 days, then it should be deemed approved or granted.
GDA Director General Shahzeb Khan Kakar, who was at the ABAD office in Karachi, admitted that the lack of coordination in policymaking among departments was witnessed in the past. He said the authority is trying to take all stakeholders on board before devising new policies.
Kakar assured ABAD members that the GDA would not make any changes to its master plan and by-laws without taking them into confidence.
“We are working to transform Gwadar into cities like Singapore and Dubai with the use of latest technology and ease of doing business through one-window facility,” he said.
The GDA DG said the administration has laid down a water supply network from the Pasni area, which is providing 75,00,000 gallons of water to Gwadar City per day.
The authority is working on a 300MW power plant while security-related issues have also been resolved in the city, according to Kakar.
He informed that Gwadar’s Master Plan for the next 30 years has been prepared. Any changes in it will be made after taking all the stakeholders into confidence, Kakar said.
ABAD Chairman Mohsin Shaikhani noted that long-term polices are required to develop any city. He admitted that ABAD members did not invest in Gwadar due to the lack of confidence and past policies of the administration.
But now, Shaikhani said, builders and the public are both investing in the city.