Ban On New Electricity Connections Lifted In Islamabad
The Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO) has lifted the ban on new connections in the federal capital and asked the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to share details of acquired and un-acquired land with it.
However, the company said houses in illegal housing schemes will not be provided new connections. In 2016, the CDA recommended that new utility connections be prohibited in Islamabad and that they be connected to a non-objection certificate (NOC) that would be granted once a construction plan was approved.
According to an IESCO announcement dated June 22, additional connections will be given in locations where IESCO’s network is already in place, with the exception of housing projects.
However, the CDA has been unable to approve development proposals in several places, notably Zones III and IV, due to regulatory problems, putting people in jeopardy for years.
The CDA, which is the primary regulator in Islamabad, has limited itself to urban areas, resulting in an explosion of unlicensed building in rural regions.
However, the CDA acted in 2016, after the majority of the illegal construction had already taken place on private property. The civic agency requested the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines (SNGPL) and IESCO not to supply any additional connections without its approval, citing a cabinet directive from 2004 and several judicial rulings.
Surprisingly, 31,000 acres of the whole 51,000 acres are owned by Margalla Hills National Park, while the other 20,000 acres are owned by private individuals. However, the CDA did not purchase the property from the private owners and did not authorize development plans in this zone, depriving them of new utility connections.
“The Margalla Hills National Park should be separated from undeveloped private property that should be purchased or the CDA should apply Zone IV rules to this zone as well. It’s unreasonable to leave 20,000 acres neglected and deny people their right to acquire utility connections, according to a CDA official.
However, the IESCO notification stated that connections will be provided to all citizens except those living in illegal housing schemes.
“In accordance with this directive and the order given by the National Assembly Secretariat on May 24, 2021, CDA and IESCO shall offer power to the general public in Islamabad wherever IESCO’s network exists,” it said.