The Lahore Development Authority (LDA) on Sunday took possession of a commercial plot in the Liberty Market a month after a court order allowing the action.
The anti-encroachment operation that involved use of heavy machinery was held amidst heavy police contingent early on Sunday morning.
Plot No 89C2 in Gulberg III, a corner plot measuring one kanal, is situated at the start of the Dupatta Gali at the back of Liberty Market. It had been rented by illegal occupants to vendors who had set up stalls and a parking lot.
Early on Sunday morning, the LDA staff removed the temporary structures and started building a boundary wall around the plot.
Some armed men tried to obstruct the operation by threatening the LDA staff and displayed weapons. Three of them were arrested by the police contingent that accompanied the LDA team. The police also seized a car, belonging to one of the men and claimed to have recovered weapons from it.
LDA Estate Management Director Muhammad Nauman Khan told The Express Tribune that the illegal occupants had obtained a court order in their favour in 1983 by claiming that it was an exemption plot. Since it was a commercial plot, he said, it could not be considered in the exemption quota.
He said the decree was challenged in the High Court which had suspended the order on March 5 this year.
Khan said the court orders allowed the LDA to re-possess the encroached plot. “The file has yet to arrive from the directorate concerned,” he said, adding, “But that does not stop us from holding an operation.”
He said the boundary wall was being constructed to stop further misuse of the land.
Khan and Maryam Kiyani, the LDA additional director general, were present at the time of the operation.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 16th, 2012.