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Full Version: Fraud in land use, allotments: LDA plans probes into housing schemes affairs
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LAHORE, Oct 8: The Lahore Development Authority plans thorough probes into matters related to land-use and plots allotment etc after some of its top officials unearthed serious irregularities in even major housing schemes initiated by the authority decades back, Dawn has learnt on Monday.

Sources say the LDA has been receiving serious complaints from private people as well as insiders about massive frauds in land-use and allotment work etc committed by the officials concerned in connivance with land grabbers, property dealers and agents.

They say as the situation is worsening gradually in various schemes including Sabzazar, Gulshan-i-Ravi, Mustafa Town and Johar Town, the LDA administration has planned to carryout land-use survey/audit to reach those who have been causing financial loss not only to the buyers and sellers but also to the authority since long.“The LDA director general has ordered a land-use survey in the entire Sabzazar Scheme after the Additional Director General Ms Marium Kayani got an inquiry conducted into a complaint relating to frauds in measurement of plots and found it genuine,” an insider told this reporter.

The official, who requested anonymity, said during the inquiry the ADG found that the officials in connivance with private parties managed to either reduce or increase the sizes of various plots at the time of giving their possession to the allotees or buyers after allotment process. Similarly, it was also revealed that these elements managed excess allotment of developed plots to those whose land was acquired by the LDA at the time of developing the scheme.

The official said a similar fraud was unearthed by the LDA sometime ago in Gulshan-e-Ravi Scheme after the director general investigated into some complaints and found allotment of excess developed plots or compensation to the owners of the land acquired by the LDA for the scheme some 20-25 years ago.

“The LDA administration also ordered land audit of the scheme for which the process to hire a private consultancy is underway,” the official added.

About Mustafa Town Scheme, situated on Wahdat Road, the official said the LDA administration had taken record (files of around 2,000 plots) into custody a couple of months ago.

“This scheme too turned out to be a victim of fraudsters who committed massive irregularities while making allotments to the buyers or handing over developed plots to the owners of the acquired land,” he said.

Similar is the situation at Johar Town Scheme where various irregularities relating to land allotment, possession, transfer etc had been surfacing.

“Presently, this scheme is under tight scrutiny and anyone visiting the LDA offices in Johar Town for transfer of plot etc has to go through a very cumbersome process relating to nature of plot, previous owners/buyers, fees/charges and other formalities,” the official said.

He said alarmed by the situation, the LDA administration had finally decided to either dismiss or suspend the officials from service found involved in such activities, besides getting criminal cases registered against them in the light of the planned land surveys or inquiries relating to various residential schemes.

DG: The LDA’s town planning wing on Monday ordered a land-use survey of Sabzazar Housing Scheme in order to identify the irregularities committed in its original plan.

According to a handout, the survey was ordered after the LDA administration received complaints about irregularities relating to measurement of plots, roads, open spaces, parks and public or private offices’ buildings and other specified sites in the scheme.

The LDA has also invited tenders from reputed firms and consultants to conduct the survey. Tender documents can be obtained from the Director (Town Planning-III) from October 25, which could be submitted till October 31.

COMPEMSATION: The LDA has so far disbursed over Rs110 million as compensation among former owners of the 82 properties, situated from Ichhra to Bhatti Chowk, which had been acquired for the construction of Metro Bus Project.

The payment is being made according to the rate determined by the District Price Assessment Committee, says a press release.

An amount of Rs1.80 billion has already been released to the Land Acquisition Collector for the purpose.

The owners of the acquired properties had been asked to contact the Land Acquisition Collector along with ownership documents, it said.
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