LAHORE: Hurdles in the way of giving possession of plots to 104 more affectees of the Punjab Government mega residential housing scheme—LDA Avenue-1—have almost been removed, as balloting for allotment of the plots is scheduled to be held here on Monday (today).

The issue got resolved after the developers of eight private housing schemes agreed to get 23 plots (third chunk of developed plots of their raw land) from the authority—a formula generally being practiced in the mega public and private sector housing projects in the country.

“By giving 23 plots to the private housing schemes developers, our 104 more affectees [plot holders] will be accommodated. Their names will be announced in a balloting scheduled to be held on Monday (today),” an official source in LDA told Dawn on Sunday.

“A negotiation committee constituted by LDA DG Ahmad Aziz Tarar and headed by Ms Sadia Suhail Rana and Engineer Aamir Riaz Qureshi and others is in contact with the developers of private housing schemes these days who are already in litigation with the authority over various issues (approval of schemes, land acquisition, allotment of plots etc).Hopefully, the committee will get the areas under litigation of the schemes cleared and hand over the possession of plots to the remaining affectees in the next couple of months,” he explained.

It may be recalled that the LDA management, in the past, also arranged out-of-court settlement with two private housing schemes, enabling the government to give plots to 683 affectees. Since the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) too issued possession letters to many affectees in the past, the LDA continues conducting balloting of plots for the affectees from time to time.

In March, 2015 the LDA had also allotted alternate plots to 1,278 of the total 2,894 affectees of the Avenue-1 through computerised balloting. The allottees had also been offered to take over their plots in one day and start construction of their houses without any delay.

“Though the problems still exist in the scheme, we are moving in the right direction and hope that all the issues afflicting the scheme will be resolved,” the official believed. “Chief Minister Usman Buzdar too in January this year had conducted balloting of plots for 487 affectees at a ceremony,” he recalled.

The LDA in August, last year, had sought the NAB’s intervention to resolve the issues related to Avenue-I and five other housing societies. The then LDA director general Usman Moazzam had briefed NAB’s Lahore DG Shahzad Saleem on reasons for the delay in the Avenue-I project. The briefing was aimed at addressing the issues and allay the reservations of the stakeholders and to draw a plan to resolve the issues as per the law.

TRAINS DELAYED: Pakistan Railways’has failed to resume the normal schedule of its passenger trains operation that had been disrupted because of the torrential rains in Sindh and other parts of the country.

Sources said that departure of the Karachi Express, Jafar Express, Fareed Express, Awam Express, Allama Iqbal Express, Tezgam, Khyber Mail, Business Express, Shah Hussain Express and other trains was delayed by one to five hours on Sunday, causing problems for the passengers.

Published in Dawn, September 14th, 2020