“This impression is baseless that the fire was ignited by any officer under a conspiracy,” a Lahore Development Authority spokesman said in a press release on Thursday, referring to the blaze at the LDA Plaza on Edgerton Road.
The fire destroyed records kept at the seventh, eighth and ninth floors of the building, but rumours that they had also engulfed the sole copies of important documents in some corruption inquiries proved to be untrue.
The records of the finance, administration, coordination and implementation and law directorates were destroyed. LDA officials said that the law directorate record, containing details of all legal cases in which the LDA was involved, was irreplaceable.
The offices of the LDA director general and additional director general (headquarters) were also gutted. Additional DG Marium Kiyani is conducting several inquiries at the moment – into allegations of wrongdoing by LDA officers and into several housing societies in Mustafa Town. These files were burnt, and it was not immediately clear if replacements were available.
The LDA spokesperson said that reports that the record of an inquiry into the Metro Bus Service project was destroyed were false, as the files were safe in the Tepa office on Lytton Road, while copies were available with Nespak.
Property records were kept at the LDA office in Johar Town and were safe, he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 10th, 2013.