LAHORE: The Punjab government on Thursday notified amendments to the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) Private Housing Schemes Rules-2014 under which the sponsors and developers of the housing projects of over 100 kanals and land subdivisions (small schemes below 100 kanal) had been given major incentives in a bid to boost the construction sector.

According to an official document, the condition of preliminary planning permission (PPP) that was earlier mandatory to be obtained before grant of the technical sanction of the layout plan (map) and final approval of the scheme has been abolished, saving time of around three to six months.

The PPP was a formality to check status of the land (ownership) from the revenue department and situation of the land within flood-prone areas from the irrigation department. Moreover, during PPP procedural work, the Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) was also supposed to give an initial No objection Certificate (NOC) in this regard.

Previously it was not necessary to prove ownership of the entire land, presented / planned for scheme, as the sponsor was required to show ownership of 20 per cent of the total land and bank guaranty / assurance for obtaining of the rest 80 per cent at a later stage.

“It was just a wastage of time and energy, rather it was causing issues related to initiation of sale / purchase and transaction of the plots in the schemes. By ending this, we will now seek NOC from the revenue department regarding ownership of the entire land and NOCs from the irrigation department and Wasa. We will just issue the letters to these departments in this regard, since taking NOCs from them would be responsibility of the sponsors / developers. Moreover, the NOCs from other departments would also be responsibility of the developers / sponsors,” a senior official in the LDA’s metropolitan planning wing told Dawn.

“After completing all formalities, we will sanction the layout plan of the scheme. And after this, we will issue a formal approval letter for the scheme,” he added. “It will save our precious time of around six months,” he said.

The document reveals that after getting technical sanction of the layout plan, the sponsor / developer will be allowed to pay requisite fees, execute land transfer and plots mortgage deeds and market its scheme. Previously, the developers / sponsors of such projects were not allowed to do so. A mega issue of NOC from the environment department which was supposed to be obtained and provided to the LDA before grant of final approval has been resolved. Since it was a time-consuming job, the NOC now can be provided to the LDA within six months of the final approval under certain terms and conditions.

The developers have also been given an option to acquire land (small pockets within scheme & major access road) for housing scheme under provisions of the Land Acquisition Act 1894. But it will be ensured that compensation rate shall not be less than market rate. Similarly, an option has also been given to develop graveyard of housing scheme with an existing graveyard in a radius of 5km under certain terms and conditions.

LESCO: The Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco) claimed on Thursday to have added 27 new 11kV feeders besides completing 268 schemes of laying low tension wires during the last six months in a bid to ensure uninterrupted and smooth power supply to the consumers.

According to a press release, the company, during this period, added four new 132kV grid stations, four transformers of 20/ 26MVA and one of 40MVA capacity and laid over 114km long 132kV transmission lines.

SEALED: The city administration teams led by the assistant commissioners in five tehsils of the city district sealed on Thursday over 170 shops for flouting Covid-19 SOPs and precuationary measures, according to a spokesman.

Published in Dawn, June 12th, 2020