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LAHORE: The Lahore Development Authority (LDA) is initiating deliberations to update the existing master plan of Lahore that will expire in 2021.

LDA Director General Ms Amina Imran Khan said at a meeting regarding the Lahore Master Plan on Saturday that Lahore was a mega city and it required a proper planning. “Lahore’s population is increasing 3.4 per cent annually, which means the city continues to expand fast creating several civic issues. For this, the only solution is to update the existing plan since adjoining districts have also been included to the LDA,” she said.

LDA Chief Town Planner Shakeel Anjum Minhas said they were facing issues such as lack of coordination among departments regarding infrastructure and traffic congestion and lack of public transport/mass transit system, inadequate parking facilities and insufficient linkages with surrounding districts.

He said the other issues, which compelled the authority to enhance scope of the plan, included inadequate and substandard housing facilities, non-compatible growth of industries adjacent to residential areas, lack of industrial estates, conversion of residential areas into commercial areas and ensuing traffic and social problems, water depletion and water treatment and environment degradation.

Mr Minhas said since the existing integrated master plan would expire in 2021, new plan for Lahore division was the need of hour. For this, he said the LDA would hire consultants.

Nadeem Akhtar Zaidi informed the participants the authority was working on reducing commercial activities in Faisal Town, Garden Town and Iqbal Town.

Wasa Managing Director Syed Zahid Aziz said a master plan regarding water supply and sewerage system was under completion these days. PIEDMC Chairman Abdul Basit urged the authority to free greenbelts from illegal occupation of the people. Engineer Akbar Sheikh of Association of Builders and Developers (ABAD) sought to license for builders and developers on the pattern of Karachi in collaboration with the association.

National College of Arts Principal Syed Murtaza Jafri advised the government to not make the people habitual of availing various civic facilities free of cost. “I think the vehicles moving on roads should be taxed in order to avoid traffic congestion on roads,” he said.

Published in Dawn, July 22nd, 2018