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LDA to launch operation against illegal schemes

LAHORE, July 20: The Lahore Development Authority (LDA) has decided in principle to launch a grand operation against illegal housing schemes and their owners/developers for fleecing the public.

At least 175 illegally-developed schemes exist within the territorial jurisdiction of the City District Government of Lahore and the LDA.

In May last year both the LDA and the CDGL had conducted separate surveys and identified 102 illegal housing schemes (52 by LDA and 50 by the CDGL). They also informed the public to avoid purchasing/selling plots in these illegal schemes.

This year, the LDA’s metropolitan planning wing again carried out a survey and identified 73 unlawfully-developed schemes.

According to documents, the illegal schemes include even those developed only on small pieces of land from 15 kanals to 40 kanals at the provincial metropolis. Most of schemes have been developed on Ferozepur Road, Multan Road, Thokar Niaz Baig and places adjacent to posh localities.

Officials say since the mushroom growth of illegal schemes is affecting the public at large, the launch of a massive crackdown on developers and their schemes is necessary to save the people from being fleeced.

“Last year, we sealed several schemes on Ferozepur Road and other places by demolishing their entry gates, offices and infrastructure. But developers seem to have learnt no lesson as they continue to involve in the monkey business,” LDA Director General Ahad Khan Cheema told Dawn.

He said a majority of illegal schemes earlier existed in the controlled area of towns or the CDGL. “Many localities/areas have been handed over to the LDA after deleting them from the controlled area of towns/CDGL. The LDA carried out a survey there and found many schemes developed unlawfully in areas such as on Ferozepur and some other roads,” he said.

He said since the LDA’s metropolitan planning wing was watching the situation very closely, he had directed officials concerned to launch a grand operation against such schemes and their developers without any discrimination.

Mr Cheema said that officials would first seal those illegal schemes where the people had still not started construction of houses/buildings on their plots. “Since sealing operation at the populated schemes is a difficult task, we are weighing others options to resolve such an issue,” he said.

He said the LDA would continue creating awareness among the people about illegal schemes through mass media.

“The LDA administration is determined to stop mushroom growth of illegal schemes. We have directed metropolitan planning officials to take stern action against developers of illegal housing schemes so as to save those being looted,” he said.
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