LAHORE, Dec 2: Punjab Governor Sardar Latif Khan Khosa has issued a contempt notice to Lahore Development Authority Director General Ahad Cheema for his department's "criminal negligence" in the matter pertaining to development of a public park over 90 kanals of land in Johar Town as per the master plan approved in 1982.
The governor said the salaries of the LDA director general could be withheld if he failed to comply with the directive.
In the notice, the governor has expressed his dismay and sense of shock over "lackadaisical and lackluster responses on the part of LDA, Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA), Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) for deliberately preferring to stick to protracted procrastination to prolong the ordeal of the bemoaning and bewailing residents of the area who have constantly been kept deprived of extension of the facility of the development of a public park."
"Notwithstanding the earmarking of the site in question as a public park as per master plan approved in 1982, the LDA, PHA and LWMC though at variance and at cross purposes, are hardly contributory to an amicable resolution of the case," the notice reads.
The governor said: "Being a matter of public welfare and question of immense public importance also involving enforcement of fundamental right guaranteed under Article 9 of the Constitution, I felt inclined to direct service of notice to be issued to all parties for a date to be fixed by the office on Oct, 10, 2012."
The notice points out that by not taking required action the department had also flouted courts’ orders issued in this respect: "It appears that no substantial and tangible action has been taken pursuant to the directions of the High Court's order dated 07.07.2009 deciding CR Nos. 2069-07, 20688-07, W.P. No. 11293-07, which undoubtedly has attained finality after the civil petition of 2009 was disposed of by the Supreme Court on July, 14 2009. The order of the High Court as also that of the apex court are imbued with utmost clarity and studded with brevity. I fail to understand as why it is taking that long to proceed in the matter for development of a park which is a concern of public interest as well as welfare of the residents of Johar Town. I have asked the LDA as to the periphery of time within which the various steps would be executed, implemented and completed."
The governor further said: "I have been bewildered by want of comprehension on the part of the officers of the LDA who have misconceived and misconstrued the simple query as to the periphery of time within which various steps were to be executed, implemented and completed as it had taken far too long to proceed in the matter for development of a park which is a serious cause for concern of Johar Town, Lahore."
"As why not legal action is taken against you (DG LDA) under the above law for failing to develop a public park in Johar Town," the notice concludes.
Mr Cheema neither responded to repeated phone calls nor the text messages of this reporter to give his version.