LDA asks if master plan prep should continue after its scope limited

Published May 17, 2021
This suggestion was sought following last month’s promulgation of an ordinance by the governor that squeezed the building and housing control of the authority to Lahore city district only. — Photo courtesy Facebook
This suggestion was sought following last month’s promulgation of an ordinance by the governor that squeezed the building and housing control of the authority to Lahore city district only. — Photo courtesy Facebook

LAHORE: The Lahore Development Authority (LDA) has sought clarification from its governing body whether it should continue the ongoing exercise and consultancy for preparing new master plans of the Lahore division comprising Lahore, Kasur, Sheikhupura and Nankana Sahib districts.

This suggestion was sought following last month’s promulgation of an ordinance by the governor that squeezed the building and housing control of the authority to Lahore city district only.

In a recent governing body meeting, LDA officials raised this concern as some work on the new master plan of the districts (building and housing control, identification/revision of green areas, land conversion, use etc) had been completed.

The population of Lahore city has crossed 12 million and any further urban expansion may have serious implications. Therefore, new options have to be explored to strengthen the surrounding cities/towns to reduce the migration pressure on Lahore. Similarly, a large number of people travel between Lahore and the surrounding cities of Kasur, Sheikhupura, Phoolnagar and Pattoki for employment, education and business.

Keeping in view the increased urban population and the emerging complex urban fabric of Lahore and its neighbouring towns, it was appropriate to address the urban issues holistically.

Moreover, it was mentioned in the preamble of LDA Act 1975 that the authority had been established for a comprehensive system of metropolitan planning and development within an integrated metropolitan and regional development approach and a continuing process of planning and development.

“LDA authority in a meeting held on Nov 26, 2019 decided that master planning will be held for the whole division/all four districts – Lahore, Sheikhupura, Nankana Sahib and Kasur. However, the same will be done in a manner that if later on the jurisdiction of LDA is refined to the Lahore district, the other districts… may be able to use the master plan for their respective districts if desired,” the minutes of the governing body meeting read.

Accordingly, it was decided to prepare a regional plan of Lahore division and later individual master plans of major settlements falling in Lahore division. International consultants were shortlisted under the Punjab Procurement Rules 2014 for the preparation of a master plan for the division. A contract was signed in February and the consultants started working on the plan to be completed within 18 months. The consultants started meeting with stakeholders and after the first public participatory workshop, submitted a draft inception report.

“After promulgation of LDA ordinance 2021 and reduction of area of LDA for housing, land use and master planning, the case was submitted before the governing body meeting that advises getting legal opinion regarding possibility and mechanism for sharing the master plan to other districts now since the LDA is no longer covering the other districts (Sheikhupura, Nankana Sahib and Kasur),” the minutes conclude.

Published in Dawn, May 17th, 2021

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