LAHORE: As the deadline of the Supreme Court of Pakistan to handover developed plots to LDA City Housing Scheme file holders approaches, Punjab Minister for Housing and Urban Development Mian Mahmoodur Rasheed has directed the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) to immediately develop 330 kanal main park.
Presiding over the LDA City sub-committee meeting on Friday, the minister directed officials to complete international standard landscaping at the site on a priority basis. LDA Additional Director General Planning Rana Tikka Khan, LDA City Director Fahad Anis and other senior officials also attended the meeting.
LDA officials told the minister that the authority would soon initiate development works following consultation with the Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA). They indicated that spadework for the construction of main mosque on 16 kanals of land, adjacent to the sports complex, has also been completed.
The meeting reviewed the progress of ongoing land acquisition and development process. Rasheed instructed the authority’s officials to ensure the protection of interests of those land owners’ who have directly given property for the scheme.
He highlighted that owners would be given 31% residential plots in lieu of their land and half development charges should be taken from them.
The apex court, in December, 2018, ordered the formation of a committee to ensure provision of land or payment of compensation to people affected by the LDA City scheme. The court issued these orders during a suo motu hearing at its Lahore registry. Former Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar warned that if the LDA City case did not concern widows and orphans, all bureaucrats and owners of development companies involved would have been in jail.
Wrapping up the suo motu case regarding the LDA City Housing Scheme in January, the apex court directed the Punjab government to allot plots to file holders of the project within eight months. Rasheed had assured the court during the hearing of the case by a two-member bench headed by former Chief Justice Saqib Nisar.
While hearing complaints of the LDA City victims, the former CJP remarked that citizens who purchased files in the scheme never got plots nor their money returned.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 12th, 2019.