LDA opts for compulsory land acquisition for housing scheme

Published: October 9, 2019
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PHOTO: REPRESENTATIONAL

PHOTO: REPRESENTATIONAL

LAHORE: On Lahore Development Authority’s (LDA) request, Lahore deputy commissioner has issued Section 4 notification for compulsory land acquisition to connect LDA City Housing Scheme with main arteries of the provincial capital.

The authority had requested the deputy commissioner to impose Section 4 for compulsory land acquisition to connect the housing society with Gajjumatta, Kacha and Lahore Ring Road. Following the issuance of gazette notification of Section 4, now the authority will be able to acquire around 450 of land for construction of main connecting roads.

The authority has already acquired over 90% of the requisite land for the LDA City Housing Scheme (Phase-1).

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During a recent progress review meeting, LDA Director General Muhammad Usman Moazzam highlighted that the authority has acquired 12,311 kanals of land for phase-1 of the housing scheme out of total 13,000 kanals land offered to the city developer.

Speaking in the meeting, he directed officials concerned to expedite the land acquisition process from remaining 689 kanals. He asked for specially deputing relevant revenue staff and officials from the sub-registrar’s office at LDA Head Office for speeding up mutation of land title in name of the LDA.

He also asked for earmarking land for construction of access roads for the scheme and preparing estimates of the cost to be incurred for this purpose.

The meeting was informed that computerised balloting for allocation of plot numbers against exempted files of the LDA City will be held on November 30 through a system developed by the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB). Schedule for finalising arrangements for this purpose has already been approved by the authority.

He highlighted that the last date for receipt of applications for issuance of exemption letters or transfer of files has been fixed as November 16.

Proceedings towards issuance of transfer letters will be completed till November 26. All the data pertaining of transfer letters will be uploaded on the official website of the LDA and computerised balloting will be held on November 30.

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) had ordered the constitution of a committee to ensure the provision of land or payment of compensation to the file holders of the LDA City.

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The court had issued this directive during a suo motu hearing held at the Lahore registry.

Former CJP Mian Saqib Nisar had warned that if the LDA City case did not concern widows and orphans, then all the bureaucrats involved in the housing project and owners of development companies would land 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 this time should be reduced for provision of land on which the former top judge directed if these companies required to provide land do not do so within a year, then the contract with them should be cancelled.

The former chief justice urged the land should be acquired expediently and be allotted to the victims.

The council said the land acquired so far had been transferred to LDA City’s name. He further told the court that the companies had sold 9,000 registration files in excess and that 20,000 kanals of land was still needed so it may 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, October 9th, 2019.

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