LAHORE: LDA City file holders may be able to breathe a sigh of relief as around 11,000 kanals of land have been presented to the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) for acquisition for the scheme.
LDA Director General Muhammad Usman Moazam on Thursday visited the site to inspect ongoing development activities. He highlighted that out of requisite 13,000 kanals, around 11,0000 kanals of land has been presented for acquisition to the authority to allot developed plots to LDA City file-holders.
“Right now, development works are underway over an area of 6,200 kanals. Three contractors are working in two shifts to complete development works to meet the deadline set by the apex court and hand over plots. The authority has already allocated Rs3 billion for the development works of LDA City projects,” he indicated.
To speed up the pace of development, the scheme has been divided into seven packages to conduct simultaneous development. He pointed out that development works were already underway on package-5, while it has been started on package-2 and package-3.
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Development expenditure for package-2 has been estimated at around Rs990 million, while the estimate of package three is around Rs1.16 billion. He highlighted that development works, including the construction of roads, water supply, sewerage and water tank were underway at package-5.
LDA Chief Engineer Mazhar Hussain Khan also briefed the LDA DG about ongoing development activities. Earlier this year, the apex court had ordered the formation of a committee to ensure the provision of land or payment of compensation to the file holders of LDA City.
The court had issued this directive during a suo motu hearing held at the Lahore registry. Former Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar warned that if the LDA City case did not concern widows and orphans, then all bureaucrats involved and owners of development companies would have been in jail.
The counsel representing the LDA City project, Advocate Ahsan Bhawan, told the court that development companies would provide land for the mega housing project within two to three years. He recommended that the timeframe for provision of land be reduced. To this, the former CJ ordered that if the companies concerned do not do so within a year, their contracts should be cancelled.
The former chief justice urged that the land be acquired expediently and be allotted to the victims. The council said that the land acquired, thus far, had been transferred to LDA City's name. He further told the court that the companies had sold an excess of 9,000 registration files and 20,000 kanals of land was still needed to be allotted to the victims.
Justice Ijazul Ahsan, the other member of the bench hearing the case, said: "Why doesn't LDA complete the project on its own? It is such a big company. It should complete the project itself." To this, the counsel for LDA responded by saying that the company "does not have the required funds to do so".
Published in The Express Tribune, August 30th, 2019.
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