LAHORE: The Lahore Development Authority (LDA) is all set to move a summary to the chief minister/chairman of its governing body for inclusion of areas of Muridke, Kala Shah Kaku, Ferozewala, Kot Abdul Malik and Sharaqpur of Sheikhupura district and Phoolnagar and Kot Radha Kishan of Kasur district in the jurisdictions of Lahore city district/metropolitan area as defined in the government notifications issued in May 1975 and January 1988.

The objective behind this development is not only to get the areas included in the Lahore metropolitan but also to avoid delay in processing the cases of housing schemes falling in the aforementioned districts, which, under the recent ordinance about squeezing the limits of the LDA, no more falls in the LDA jurisdiction and are supposed to be sent to the respective defunct town municipal administrations (TMAs), Dawn has learnt.

“The governor, on April 12, 2021, promulgated LDA Ordinance 2021 (XVII of 2021) and area of Lahore Development Authority as mentioned in preamble and relevant sections of LDA Act-1975 has been changed from “Lahore Division” to Metropolitan Area of Lahore. Therefore, now the functions of housing, land use and master planning will be exercised in the metropolitan area of Lahore,” reads the minutes of an LDA governing body meeting held recently.

After approval from the Cabinet’s Standing Committee on Legislative Business, in its 56th meeting held in April 2021, a summary for the cabinet was initiated by the LDA for amendments to the LDA Act 1975. The summary proposed that the LDA area might be reduced from the Lahore division to the metropolitan or any other area notified by the government. The same has been approved by the cabinet.

However, as per a copy of the gazette notification of LDA Ordinance 2021 published on April 13, the area of the authority was reduced to Lahore metropolitan and option of any other area notified by the government was also omitted.

The preamble to the LDA Act 1975 has defined the authority as established for a comprehensive system of metropolitan planning and development with an integrated metropolitan and regional development approach and a containing process of planning and development. Accordingly, the jurisdiction of the LDA was the Lahore metropolitan area.

According to minutes of the new development, “Boundaries of Lahore metropolitan area (LMA) were defined by government of Punjab vide notifications published in May 1975 and January 1988 and areas of Muridke, Kala Shah Kaku, Ferozewala, Kot Abdul Malik, Sharaqpur (Sheikhupura) and Phool Nagar and Kot Radha Kishan (Kasur) were also included in addition to the major area of Lahore district”.

But the recent notified amendment to the LDA Act 1975, reducing the area of the LDA to the metropolitan area alone and deleting option of any other area, notified by the government has created confusion between planning boundary of the LDA and administrative boundary of the metropolitan corporation,” the minutes explain.

According to the minutes, the planning boundary of the LDA was notified by the government in the form of Lahore metropolitan area in 1975 & 1988 whereas the administrative boundary/area of Lahore metropolitan corporation has been defined in the Punjab Local Government Act 2019.

The purpose of any other area notified by the government was to include any such areas which fell in the LDA jurisdiction since 1975 for effective regional planning but not included in administrative boundary of the metropolitan corporation.

“Therefore, in order to eliminate this ambiguity, it is proposed that area of the LDA as mentioned in LDA Act 1975 may be amended.

The areas of district Kasur and district Sheikhupura, starting, in south, from Raiwind and boundary of Lahore district all along the railway line up to Kot Radha Kishan, along Kot Radha Kishan–Phool Nagar road to Phoolnagar bypass up to crossing of the Multan road, then straight to head Balloki at river Ravi, would be included in Lahore. On the western side, the areas starting from river Ravi upstream to Upper Chenab Canal leading to Sheikhupura-Muridke Road. In north, starting from Sheikhupura-Muridke up to Nikki Dekh and along Nikki Dekh up to GT Road from here straight to Ravi-BRB siphon and international boundary, may be included in the Lahore metropolitan area as notified already through May 1975 and January 1988 notifications,” the minutes say.

Published in Dawn, May 16th, 2021

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