In Pakistan, one major housing society that is synonymous with modern living and excellency is DHA. Short for Defence Housing Authority, it has many sectors or ‘Phases’ spanning multiple cities like Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi. The society relies on standardization of its real estate in order to bring it up to the criterion set by the top housing schemes in other parts of the world.
While it maintains its standing as the forefront of modern living, DHA is no different from any other housing society. It has its own set of rules and regulations that help to run the organization at maximum efficiency. Below are just some of the construction and development rules devised by DHA Lahore that are observed by each of its designated areas:
1. A building can only be erected for the sole purpose mentioned within its allotment letter or lease deed.
2. Every step of the construction process, from demarcation of plot to placement of framework, should first be approved by the Building Control Branch of DHA.
3. Each Phase has its own requirements for building codes, dimensions and other elements, for both residential and commercial units. It is up to the sole entity in ownership of the plot (and building) to observe the requirements so as to maintain consistency.
4. A building should be planned and constructed with proper fire safety in mind. This includes a suitable fire-fighting system, adequate exit plans and other standards.
5. A building can be in violation of DHA regulations for reasons such as illegal tempering of manholes for drainage of surface water, impermissible installation of boundary walls, installation of generators (due to high risk of noise and air pollution), etc.
6. The installation of water and sewerage connections should first be completed before occupation of a residential building.
7. Plots cannot be used for advertisement purposes unless specified or otherwise allowed by DHA.
8. Commercial plots are only reserved for locations where is legal tender is exchanged for goods such as grocery stores (barring butcher shops), clothing stores and other retail businesses. As such, commercial plots do not allow the construction of businesses such as hospitals/clinics, restaurants, auto-repair shops or any other place where there is a high possibility of public nuisance and/or environmental pollution.
9. The Executive Board DHA reserves the right to amend or make changes to these regulations (among others) at any given time as it may deem necessary.
These are just some of the many guidelines set by the Defence Housing Authority in oder to maintain the decorum when it comes to constructing a domicile or place of exchange of goods. You can find more information regarding the prerequisites of erecting a building by clicking on this link.

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