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Commercial activities in residential areas banned
02-17-2012, 03:09 PM
Post: #1
Commercial activities in residential areas banned
Commercial activities in residential areas banned

RAWALPINDI: The Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) on Wednesday banned further commercial activities in residential areas and decided to classify the city into three zones.

In this regard, the authority has hired consultants for classifying the city into commercial, residential and industrial zones. The consultants will submit their proposals and put forth suggestions for streamlining commercial and industrial activities.

Almost each residential area has been dotted with shops, hotels, showrooms, auto-workshops and other business outlets creating nuisance for the residents.

“We have banned conversion of residential houses into commercial outlets and from now onward nobody would be allowed to set up business in specified residential area,” Director General RDA Chaudhry Naseer Ahmed told Dawn after chairing a meeting on Wednesday.

He said a strategy had been chalked out to force shopkeepers to gradually shift their shops from residential areas to commercial markets.

The official said excessive conversion of houses into commercial centres in the past had taken a heavy toll on the look of the city and ruined the lives of the residents, adding the restriction on commercialisation would force shopkeepers to move to market areas.

He said certain roads in the city would be specified for commercial purposes as there was no space in the established markets for carving out new shops. Industrial activities near Glass Factory Chowk and Banni areas will be asked to shift out and nobody will be allowed to set up any industry in the city area.Satellite Town, the first and oldest planned residential area in Rawalpindi, has been occupied by private schools, hostels and beauty saloons as the owners have started using their houses for commercial purposes.

Inner city residential localities like Dhoke Kashmirian, Dhoke Kala Khan and Shamsabad are some of the areas where high-rise commercial plazas have also been built.

A town planner in RDA said growing commercial activities in residential areas were affecting municipal infrastructure provided to the residents besides resulting in traffic jams and shortage of facilities like water, gas and electricity.

Zaheer Abbasi, a resident in Dhoke Kashmirian, complained that the privacy of his house had been affected after the opposite house was converted into a boys’ hostel. He said he had covered the front of his house so that it cannot be visible to the hostel inmates.
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