According to sources, CDA managers, in order to reduce the storeys in the under-construction US Embassy Complex, have started to revise building by-laws for Diplomatic Enclave. A concerned official, in order to limit the height of buildings in Diplomatic Enclave, has put the proposal of keeping its height up to five floors which is under consideration.
The issue was meant to be discussed in the CDA Board meeting conducted at the Jinnah Convention Center on Wednesday but due to some reasons, it was not discussed. Regarding the change in building bylaws of the Diplomatic Enclave, CDA Director General (Planning) was expected to give a presentation to the CDA Board. CDA allowed the construction of up to seven storeys in 2007 but before that only three storeys were allowed.
The plan to limit the US Embassy to seven floors was approved by CDA under the current building by-laws. The current by-laws allow construction with a covered area of 300% of the plot, with an open space of 20 feet on side areas, 30 feet on back and front sides and 40% ground coverage for ground floor. Spy agency in a letter written to the CDA has raised objections regarding the approval of this construction plan of the US Embassy.
According to the spy agency, with such high rise buildings in Diplomatic Enclave, one can easily keep an eye on the sensitive government buildings. The spy agency has directed the CDA to revise the building by-laws and limit the height of building. Previously CDA approved the site plan of the US Embassy and issued No Objection Certificate to the US authorities after contacting the spy agency. At that time, no objections were raised. One of the CDA officials says now when the construction is in its full swing, spy agency is making us revise building by-laws.
He further highlighted that if they ask the US authorities to limit the height up to five floors, they would file a case against us in the International Court of Law. Spy agency on the other hand, says that the ever ‘worst relationships’ with the US is the main reason why it wants to limit the height of embassy complex. Some other official said that the CDA would offer extended ground coverage to cover up the loss of height.