LAHORE: The Lahore Development Authority (LDA) continued its operation against illegal housing societies and demolished many structures in different localities on Wednesday.
On the orders of LDA Director General Muhammad Usman Moazzam, the city developer’s Town Planning and Enforcement officials conducted operations in Johar Town area on UMT Road, Khayaban-e-Firdousi, Israr Market Road, G1 Market Road, Multan Road and Allama Iqbal Town. As many as nine illegally-constructed buildings were demolished.
LDA officials removed foundations and boundary walls of Bin Alam Building on UMT Road, demolished an illegally constructed workshop on Plot 361-A Johar Town and unlawful structures on plots 25-F, 698-F and 445-G1. The authority’s officials also demolished modifications in a building structure on plot 25-C in Abid Town and four illegally constructed shops on plot 29 Ravi Block, Allama Iqbal Town.
A spokesperson for the authority highlighted that LDA demolished over two dozen illegal building structures in the current week during different raids. Recently, Town Planning and Enforcement officials demolished 10 illegally constructed buildings on Lahore Avenue, Board of Revenue Society and Wapda Town. LDA officials demolished buildings on plot numbers 12, 13 and 55 on Lahore Avenue due to their unapproved building plans.
He indicated that in another raid on plot numbers 11 and 14 on Lahore Avenue, buildings were partially demolished for failure to comply with building plans. Similarly, commercial buildings on residential plots no 41 and 43 were demolished over land-use violations. In Wapda Town, illegally constructed commercial buildings on plot numbers 111-D2 and 113-D2 were demolished partially and completely, respectively.
The LDA spokesperson said the authority also removed three unlawfully constructed structures in illegal housing societies on Canal Road and Grand Trunk Road. During the operation, LDA officials demolished under-construction roads, sewage, boundary walls, green belts and other infrastructure of Zam Zam City, Subhan Garden as well as Al-Hasan Garden Phase 1 and 2 on Grand Trunk Road.
To safeguard public interest and curb the menace of illegal housing projects and encroachments in the provincial capital, the authority has established a WhatsApp helpline. The LDA DG said citizens can send their complaints and suggestions on WhatsApp no 0322-8888 283. He announced that he would randomly call back complainants and applicants, daily, to check the performance of LDA officials and resolve public issues.
He highlighted that citizens can lodge their complaints on road conditions, encroachments, illegal constructions, commercial activities, land grabbing and private housing schemes through this WhatsApp number. He said these messages would help bring irregularities to the notice of the authority.
The identity of the complainants/applicants, including their names, addresses and telephone numbers, would be kept confidential, he assured. He asked citizens to forward only genuine complaints along with relevant documents and supporting evidence for quick resolution.
Earlier this year, he Lahore Development Authority formed a committee comprising Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) and its own officials to take action against illegal construction and private housing schemes.
According to an official communique of the authority, a meeting was convened to decide the formation of the committee. The official body would streamline the operation against illegal constructions and private housing schemes within the jurisdiction of the LDA and redress complaints pending with the ACE Lahore region.
The committee was empowered to take necessary action against illegal and unauthorised constructions as per the LDA Act and Rules.
At the time, the terms of reference (TOR) of the committee showed it would finalise the operation mechanism in consultation with the deputy director (Investigation) of ACE Lahore. It would conduct verification of the status of the constructions identified by anti-corruption authorities and private housing schemes, as per records and applicable rules.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 26th, 2019.