LAHORE: The Lahore Development Authority (LDA) has sent a reference to the Lahore Metropolitan City and districts of Kasur, Sheikhupura and Nankana Sahib to impose a ban on transfer/transaction of property in housing societies developed illegally in violation of the Integrated Master Plan-2021.
The authority has also complained to the police authorities of Lahore and other areas against those station house officers (SHOs) who are not registering cases against the developers of such illegal housing societies despite receipt of applications from the LDA officers.
Eighty-nine housing societies have been identified as developed or in under-developing phase in violation of the master plan which means they cannot be regularised due to strict policy matters, rules, bylaws and terms/conditions.
“The master plan of Lahore division allocates or describes or indicates the places/areas that can be used separately for residential, industrial, commercial, agricultural and other purposes. It means if someone develops a residential project/scheme in the areas other than those fixed for such purposes would not be regularised/legalised in any case and those involved in the sale/purchase of property/plots at such schemes must consider their investment risky,” LDA Chief Metropolitan Planner (CMP) Shakeel Anjum Minhas told Dawn on Tuesday.
Approaches authorities against SHOs for ignoring complaints against estate developers
“All such schemes were developed on the green areas and we will never regularise them. However, the schemes illegally developed in the areas allocated in the master plan for residential use/purpose can be regularized, subject to gravity of offence,” he added.
According to a brief internal report, the 89 illegal schemes include 42 in Lahore, 14 in Sheikhupura, 24 in Kasur and some in Nankana. Public notices were published in newspapers to keep the people aware of these housing schemes.
“The authority has, so far, lodged complaints in writing at various police stations against 70 of the total 89 schemes. But the police only registered FIRs against 13 schemes. At this, the LDA complained to the Lahore DIG (Operations) and district police officers of Kasur, Nankana and Sheikhupura against the SHOs for not registering cases allegedly due to influence of the powerful estate developers,” reads the report.
It claims that the LDA’s directorate of estate management (private housing schemes) also carried out demolition operation in 38 schemes and razed structures and dismantled infrastructure there.
The report mentions that developers of nine illegal schemes also approached the court against the LDA’s action. At this, the courts passed orders restraining the LDA teams from taking actions. Notices to developers have also been issued amid instructions to stop marketing/advertising their projects in the print, electronic and social media.
“We have also asked Pakistan Electronic Media Regularity Authority (Pemra) to issue instructions to all the TV channels to stop advertisement of such illegal schemes in the public interest,” an official said.
Published in Dawn, September 12th, 2018