LAHORE: Litigation hampering the development and completion of certain blocks of Avenue-I, a residential scheme by the Lahore Development Authority (LDA), is now affecting the authority’s yet-to-be launched LDA City on Ferozepur Road.

Top LDA authorities have planned to delay the launch of development work of LDA City’s phase one on the grounds the litigation issues of LDA Avenue-I may affect the credibility of their new project, Dawn learned on Thursday.

LDA City is claimed to be the largest housing project of Pakistan to be launched in three phases on 61,000 kanals in seven mauzas along Ferozepur Road, linking Defence Road, Ring Road and DHA.

At present, Johar Town is city’s biggest residential scheme that is on over 25,500 kanals after Allama Iqbal Town, that covers over 12,500 kanals.

The LDA launched Avenue-I in 2003, but the pace of development work and awarding the possession of plots to allotment holders remained very slow owing to litigation issues and negligence of the officials. In the last couple of years, the LDA revamped the scheme and increased the pace of development work. Now, 70 per cent of the cleared (litigation-free) area of the scheme has been handed over to their owners. The LDA also launched a plan to create additional plots in the scheme through reducing plot sizes and greenbelts to accommodate more people.

“If we start development in LDA City immediately without resolving the issues of Avenue-I, it may affect our credibility,” a senior LDA officer told Dawn. “So we are of the opinion that the issues in Avenue-I must be resolved before we launch development work in LDA City.”

He said the slow land acquisition was also another reason behind delay in the LDA City launch.

So far, 7,000 kanals, of the total planned area of 61,000 kanals, have been acquired. The land acquired is scattered in several chunks. The LDA wants to have a chunk of 6,000 to 7,000 kanals at one place to begin development work.

Without giving any deadline, the official said their development partners were trying to acquire 6,000 to 7,000 kanals. He said three months were required to get the land and by that time, a majority of issues related to Avenue-1 would have been resolved.

Learning from the past, the LDA administration has made LDA City a paperless scheme and the whole record will be computerised.

“We believe that the extraordinary care and measures we are adopting will not create even a single problem related to allotment and development and possession of plots,” the official claimed.

He said Avenue-I affected people would hear good news.

Deal: The Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco) has been asked to replace all defective meters, installed at various Wasa-owned tubewells and other important offices and town municipal administrations within 15 days.

Reciprocally, Wasa and the TMAs will also clear the outstanding electricity bills under an agreed formula of 2009 related to complaints, bills adjustment/payments, etc.

According to a spokesman for the City District Government of Lahore (CDGL), the decision to this effect was taken in a meeting presided over by District Coordination Officer retired Capt Muhammad Usman on Thursday. The meeting was also attended by the Wasa MD, Lesco director customer services, superintending engineers, town administrators and the tehsil municipal officers.

The DCO said the parties, Wasa, Lesco and TMAs, must follow the decision taken by the participants unanimously. — Khalid Hasnain

Published in Dawn, January 9th, 2015

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