Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (RCB) issued as many as 5800 notices to shopkeepers and food outlets for violating the rules including 3850 for businesses without trade licenses and 1950 for unhygienic and poor cleanliness conditions while the board also accelerated its special campaign launched against defaulters of property tax, water charges and Transfer of Immovable Property (TIP) tax and collected over Rs 1220 million in 2020.
According to RCB spokesman Qaiser Mehmood, the RCB teams on the directives of Cantonment Executive Officer (CEO) Muhammad Umar Farooq Ali Malik accelerated their operations and took action in accordance with the rules against the violators.
He said Trade License Branch served warning notices to over 3850 bakeries, general stores, dairy shops, medical stores, chicken shops and others in different areas. The branch also received a large number of applications and issued new licenses to 7300 shopkeepers who had met all requirements. The Food Branch checked over 2300 food outlets during 2020 and issued noticed to 1950 for unhygienic and poor cleanliness conditions.
He informed that the RCB teams conducted raids in different areas and collected thousands of food samples which were sent to the lab for quality test while over Rs 3.6 million fines were imposed on the rules violators. He said the teams also imposed fines on the stall holders and vendors for unhygienic food and poor cleanliness condition.
He further informed that the board collected over Rs 1220 million including Rs 283 million TIP tax, Rs 737 million property tax and Rs 200 million water charges from the defaulters during last year. To a question, he informed that the board had accelerated its operation against illegal construction and issued several notices to the violators.
The RCB Land Branch/Building Control Cell was conducting raids and the owners of the buildings and structures erected illegally were being issued notices. Replying to another question, the spokesman told APP that the Public Facilitation Centre of RCB received as many as 12,010 complaints regarding electricity, water supply and sanitation problems during last year and made all out efforts to resolve them.
The center received total 12,010 complaints including 4460 of sanitation, 2050 water supply and 5500 electricity which were addressed on urgent basis. He informed that RCB approved 1049 maps of illegal buildings and collected revenue amounting to over Rs 31.44 million under amnesty scheme launched in 2020 to facilitate the residents.
He said the board had launched an amnesty scheme for illegal residential buildings constructed before 2015 under which the owners had been asked to legalize their illegal structures without fines. He said the amnesty scheme had been launched to legalize all illegal structures in the cantonment areas to bring the practice to an end. Several residents had constructed residential buildings without approved building plans which causes problems for the civic body, he added.
The spokesman said the scheme was launched initially for a period of two months but extended till Dec 31,2020 on the request of the residents. Qaiser Mehmood said the board confiscated over 210 truckload goods from different markets under its grand operation against encroachments to make the RCB areas encroachment free during 2020. The teams conducted 225 operations in different areas and also issued 560 notices to the rules violators.