LAHORE: The Development Working Party (DWP) on Wednesday finalised around Rs2 trillion PC-I of a mega housing project for the construction of 35,000 low-cost apartments in the city and decided to forward it to the Lahore Development Authority’s governing body for final approval.

The project, which has been named as “Naya Pakistan Apartments” is being launched under the federal government’s flagship project — Naya Pakistan Housing Programme -- that promised five million houses for the low-income people across the country.

“In a meeting of the DWP -- a body notified as per direction of the planning and development department to finalise the projects before getting final approval from the governing body – the representatives of planning, finance, LDA and other departments reviewed draft of the PC-I and declared it fit for the approval from the governing body.

Soon it will be approved by the body in its meeting,” LDA’s Chief Engineer Dr Habibul Haq Randhawa told Dawn.

35,000 low-cost units to be built in LDA City

“The design of the project having an estimated cost of approximately Rs2 trillion has already been approved,” he added.

The project is being launched on a chunk of land situated at the LDA City Housing Scheme where the development work to give possession of plots to the project affectees, as per the direction of Supreme Court is already under way. The project would not only be limited to construction of low-cost apartments alone, but also have a vast green area, state of the art sewerage, drainage, rainwater harvesting and conservation systems.

Mr Randhawa said the rainwater conservation and harvesting had been included in the government’s policy in the light of recommendations of the provincial water commission headed by the retired Justice Ali Akbar Qureshi and comprising senior officials of LDA, Wasa, environment and other departments concerned.

“Under the recommendation of the commission, we have also decided to conserve and harvest the rainwater by constructing huge tanks at the Qarshi Park in Gulberg. This will help us in harvesting the accumulating rainwater at Firdaus Market underpass. After conserving this water, the PHA will use it for watering the plants, greenbelts, parks etc,” he maintained.

He said a revised PC-I amounting to Rs.47 billion for development of infrastructure in the LDA City housing scheme would also be sent to the governing body for its formal approval.

Meanwhile, an LDA spokesman claimed that the authority’s various directorates approved as many as 576 plans for permitting construction of new buildings in the city, besides allowing addition and alteration in 162 existing structures during the last three months. He said completion certificates had also been issued to 59 new buildings during this period.

“As many as 1,133 applications had been submitted at the One Window Cell of the LDA seeking approval of building plans for construction of new structures of different nature in various localities of the city, out of which 576 had been approved, while 349 others were in process and only 207 had been returned to the applicants for for lacking necessary documents. For getting the permission for addition or alteration in the existing buildings, 345 applications had been submitted, out of which 162 had been approved while 102 were in process for approval.

“LDA received a total of 142 applications for issuance of completion certificates for buildings. The certificates were issued for 59 buildings, while another 76 cases were in process,” he added.

Published in Dawn, August 13th, 2020

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