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The City District Government of Lahore (CDGL) has taken up the matter of illegal construction of 24 buildings on notified roads with the Lahore Development Authority (LDA).

The CDGL wants the demolition of these buildings or any other viable solution to the issue that stops such practices in future.

The issue was earlier raised in a meeting of the CDGL’s design committee at Town Hall on June 27. The design committee is headed by the district coordination officer with members representing the CDGL’s municipal services executive district officer (EDO), the district officer of spatial planning, an LDA representative and town administrators/municipal officers of the nine constituent town municipal administrations of the Lahore metropolitan city.

Under the bylaws, cases related to maps’ approval of any residential and commercial building on CDGL’s notified roads, including Multan road, Gulberg’s main boulevards and The Mall, are sent to the design committee.

A letter by the EDO of municipal services, dated July 4, to the LDA chief town planner, mentions the illegal buildings that include: Jaddid Shopping Centre, Soneri Bank, Rakhshanda Heights, Attock Petroleum, Mushtaq Trading Company, Shell Pump, Al-Farooq Estate, Khawaja Market, Manzoor Plaza, Bismillah Industry, Al Haram Store, Advance Life College, Haji Aslam Contractors, KS Tiles, Siddique Dental Surgery, Luna Travel, Servaid Medical Store, Punjab College and Aqeel & Co. These buildings are situated on Multan Road, Canal Road and Ferozepur Road.

“The deign committee chairman has shown a great concern regarding constructions on the notified roads, which are being carried out without approval or in violation of the building bylaws”, reads the letter.

“Therefore, you are required to take immediate action against the illegal constructions under the law.” It also seeks an action plan regarding demolition/rectification of illegal constructions besides initiating a disciplinary action against the responsible.

The letter raises an important question that why those who tasked with protecting laws remained silent on the constructions of two dozens of buildings. The exact number of such illegally built buildings has yet to be ascertained.

In Lahore, there are five departments and agencies to monitor such affairs. These include the LDA, CDGL’s spatial planning department, town municipal administrations, cantonment boards and the Defence Housing Authority.

It is good to see that the design committee has taken up the issue. Lets see if the action will help the departments stop the construction of such illegal buildings in the future.

For the last 10 days, the officials of the Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) have been on high alert draining out the accumulated rainwater and cleaning city drains, including Satukatla and Hudiara.

The met office forecast excessive rains this year. At present, 40 camp and field offices have been established in various parts of the metropolis.

Last year, 30 camp sites were set up. An official said the camp offices had been equipped with sucker machines, pumps etc. — (Khalidpak284@yahoo.com)

Published in Dawn, July 19th, 2016