LAHORE: The Punjab government on Tuesday ordered the authorities concerned to hand over the record pertaining to private housing schemes and land-use conversion in the districts of Kasur, Sheikhupura and Nankana Sahib to the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) after the respective district administrations failed to do so despite directions, reminders etc.

With this directive, the LDA has regained its powers of according approval to the housing schemes, land-use conversion cases that, in the tenure of the PTI government, were taken back through an ordinance empowering deputy commissioners to approve such cases being heads of the local governments, Dawn has learnt.

The caretaker provincial cabinet in its 35th meeting on Jan 10 decided that the LDA would continue to perform its functions of land use and approval of private housing schemes within the Lahore division till establishment of the elected local governments.

“Therefore, the decision of the cabinet shall be complied with and record pertaining to land use and private housing schemes be transferred to the LDA under intimation to this department,” seeks the Local Government & Community Development Department in a letter to the administrators and chief officers of the defunct local governments of the Lahore division.

According to an official source in the LDA, though the powers were considered transferred ultimately to the authority after non-enactment of an April 2021 ordinance titled “Lahore Development Authority (Amendment) ordinance-2021”, the record of land use and private housing schemes was not handed over to LDA and the administrators kept giving approvals to the housing schemes, land use conversion cases etc unlawfully despite knowing about the facts.“

In this way, a number of housing schemes were approved and developed in the non-designated areas that, later, caused various civic and legal issues,“ the official requesting anonymity maintained.

He said despite reminders, administrators of the aforementioned districts failed to handover the relevant record to LDA.

LESCO: The Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco) during 167-day operation, so far, has detected a total of 57,806 connections from where the customers were pilfering electricity in all its circles of five districts (Lahore, Sheikhupura, Nankana Sahib, Kasur and Okara).

The Lesco spokesman told media here on Tuesday that the company had also submitted FIR applications against electricity thieves, out of which 53,333 FIRs have been registered in respective police stations, while 17,666 accused have been arrested.

The Lesco has so far charged a total of 76,659,409 detection units worth over Rs2.934 billion.

Published in Dawn, February 28th, 2024

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