LDA relaxes rules for construction industry

Will grant approval of building plans within 30 days

​ Our Correspondent May 05, 2020

LAHORE: The governing body of Lahore Development Authority (LDA) has established Ravi Urban Development Agency besides taking several other decisions for encouraging the construction industry in the provincial metropolis.

The third meeting of the LDA’s governing body was held on Monday, which was chaired by the LDA Vice Chairman S M Imran while LDA Director General Ahmad Aziz Tarar briefed meeting participants about the compliance status of earlier decisions of authority.

The LDA governing body decided for setting up Ravi Urban Development Agency (RUDA) under LDA Act 1975 to exercise all functions under the Act in its area of jurisdiction. It also constituted a committee, headed by Major (retd) Syed Burhan Ali, for need assessment to operationalise the agency and to submit the proposed plan within one month. Other members of the committee will include MPA Muhammad Atif from Nankana Sahib and LDA Director General Ahmad Aziz Tarar.

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The meeting decided for forwarding a summary to the Punjab government for getting the cooperation of other relevant departments, including Environment Protection Agency, Revenue, for simplifying the procedure for approving new private housing schemes within minimum possible time.

It recommended a checklist of documents to be attached, set up timelines for fulfilling various procedural formalities and proposed to depute representatives of other relevant departments at the LDA One Window Cell for on-the-spot initial scrutiny of applications for expeditious processing of such cases.

The authority decided to approve all types of building plans, residential as well as commercial, within 30 days

The meeting decided to send a summary to the government for approving timelines and a flow chart for this purpose by taking other relevant departments onboard.

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For promoting the use of latest technologies in the construction of new buildings in the city, the authority allowed adding a new clause in Building and Zoning Regulations 2019 to allow the provision of steel structure in all types of construction.

However, in such cases, the owner(s) will be required to provide structural stability certificate from the registered structure engineer about the safety of the structure.

The meeting also approved comprehensive standard operating procedures (SOPs) for taking action against illegal constructions and conversions in the LDA’s controlled area.

It approved the distribution of functions among Town Planning Wing and Enforcement Directorate by authorising the enforcement directorate for carrying out operations against unlawful constructions on the identification of such structures by Directorate of Town Planning.

For attracting the maximum number of bidders for revenue generation by awarding lease rights of LDA owned properties, the meeting decided for decreasing the amount of earnest money for participating in the auction proceedings besides reducing the amount to be retained by LDA as security deposits for the convenience of successful bidders.

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To facilitate the government departments to which public utility sites of LDA were allotted on the reserve price, the authority decided to enhance the deadline for depositing 30% of the total cost of the plot as a down payment from 30 days to 90 days from the allotment of a plot by the relevant committee.

It also withdrew the rebate of 5% in case of a lump-sum payment of the cost of a plot by the government department.

The meeting approved Master Plan 2040 of WASA and decided to make it a part of the proposed integrated master plan of LDA.

It also approved SOPs for adjustment of WASA bills for the commercial, industrial and non-residential properties which remained locked/abandoned during lockdown period announced by the government of Punjab to stop the spread of Covid-19.

The meeting decided for creation of pension fund for WASA employees and amended delegation of powers for authorising deputy director finance WASA for security bills up to Rs100,000.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 5th, 2020.

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