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Illegal commercial use of PHA flats on rise
08-17-2011, 01:02 PM
Post: #1
Illegal commercial use of PHA flats on rise
Islamabad—The illegal commercial use of residential apartments constructed by the Pakistan Housing Authority (PHA) near Zero Point in Sector G-7/1 is going unchecked. The PHA constructed of B-type flats in 1998 aiming to overcome housing shortage and provide shelters to homeless people and low paid groups in the Federal Capital. The flats were allotted by the PHA to the respective owners under a comprehensive allotment deed embodying condition of strictly restricting them to use the same for only residential purpose.

Other civic services, repairing and maintenance works in the flats are also provided by PHA on taking monthly charges from its occupants. Since taking possession of flats some seven years back, the trend of their commercial use is growing among local private business groups and companies. Almost half of occupants of the flats are running their business from here due to their prime location right near Zero Point. The PHA had constructed 208 flats in Sector G-7/1, most of them are occupied by property consultants, overseas employment promoters, freight forwarding agents, media companies and other business groups which is total violation of PHA by-laws and rules and regulation regarding allotment of flats. The rent of these flats is higher by Rs 6,000 to 8,000 than that of same category in G-8/4 due to their commercial importance and growing attraction for businessmen. By hiring these flats, the businessmen save some 30% to 40% rent, which they have to bear for a commercial building located at comparatively unattractive areas.

Muhammad Atif Aslam, who is running a business form a flat in Sector G-7/1, told mediamen that he had shifted his marketing business to this area for many reasons; to avoid security risk in crowded commercial areas in the wake of current law and order situation, paying less rent for a spacious accommodation than commercially better location, due to freedom of its multipurpose utilization i.e commercial as well as residential for office workers and to protect business from taxation as he need no hoarding for his business projection.
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