Arson?: Second LDA Plaza fire deliberate, says DCO

Published: June 30, 2013
Email
‘Criminal elements set fire in attempt to destroy LDA records’. PHOTO: SHAFIQ MALIK, ABID NAWAZ/EXPRESS

‘Criminal elements set fire in attempt to destroy LDA records’. PHOTO: SHAFIQ MALIK, ABID NAWAZ/EXPRESS

LAHORE: 

District Coordination Officer Nasim Sadiq has suggested that a fire at the already-charred Lahore Development Authority Plaza on Egerton Road on Saturday was an act of arson aimed at destroying documentation.

The startling statement from the DCO, who is the authority’s chairman, also cast suspicion on the cause of the fire at the same building on May 9 in which at least 25 people, mostly LDA workers, perished.

On Saturday afternoon, a fire broke out at the seventh floor amidst scraps of paper and cardboard for unknown reasons, said Rescue 1122 officials. The blaze was quickly put out.

“Based on my observations, files were brought to the LDA office and then set on fire,” Sadiq told The Express Tribune. Fire-fighters foiled this attempt with their timely response, he added.

He said all the files should have been moved to the LDA’s Johar Town office after the first fire. He had called LDA staff to the spot to brief him about the situation. He added that a three-member committee would investigate the matter. Its findings would not be shoved under the carpet “like the previous one”, he added. Asked if he believed the May 9 fire was also an act of arson, he said that this was a question for the inquiry committee.

Speaking to reporters at the scene, the DCO said that commercial building records had been stored at the seventh floor and Saturday’s fire was “an attempt by criminal elements to destroy it”.

Officials of Rescue 1122 said that in the last fire, all documents kept on the seventh floor had been completely destroyed. The files and papers that they had seen there on Saturday had not been there before, they said. “Maybe they were brought down from the 8th or 9th floor or some other place. We don’t know,” they said.

LDA officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that police guards had been deputed at the Plaza and no one was allowed at the site. “When labourers working at the site enter the building, the police search them to make sure that they don’t take lighters or matches in,” they said.

Engineers had earlier declared the top three floors of the building unsafe and they are to be demolished. Officials said that the demolition work will begin once high tension wires are removed from the site.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 30th, 2013.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (12)

  • Sodomite
    Jun 30, 2013 - 11:46AM

    What are we going to do about it?? Right in the heart of Sharifpur.

    Recommend

  • shahzad
    Jun 30, 2013 - 12:54PM

    It is ridiculous that LDA is still keeping records in physical files instead of computerized records.

    Recommend

  • Xnain
    Jun 30, 2013 - 1:01PM

    Nseem Sadiq is an exemplary official. He has made his mark in Faisalabad and Multan before coming to Lahore. Hats off to you sir!

    Recommend

  • King of Darkness
    Jun 30, 2013 - 1:04PM

    Metro bus records were also in this buildings right?? #Nooras

    Recommend

  • FAI
    Jun 30, 2013 - 3:54PM

    PMLN can stoop to any level to hide their corruption

    Recommend

  • FACT
    Jun 30, 2013 - 4:35PM

    @Sodomite:
    Tell IK to focus little bit on Lahore also. As he is also from Sharifpur.

    Recommend

  • Parvez Amin
    Jun 30, 2013 - 6:04PM

    Fire proof safes are used to store important paper records. Please use them. In addition it is easy to keep such records on microfilm… several copies.

    Recommend

  • Nadir
    Jun 30, 2013 - 6:08PM

    Previously it was reported details and files related to Bahria Town were burnt, how convenient

    Recommend

  • nawaz
    Jun 30, 2013 - 6:37PM

    In early nineties civil courts files n records were burned – no culprit was found or arrested. Hundred n thousands of Riwind, multan road, Thokar lands records were burned n till now no one knows who is the actual owner. Now LDA 7, 8, 9th floor records n files gone for ever. Thousands (if not millions) will spend their remaining life proving their own ownership of houses, plots n what not. Actual kabza groups (beneficiaries) became millionaire over night. No need to look or worry unfortunate Phalistinions, kabza groups are doing the same good job with immunity in Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • aaaaa
    Jun 30, 2013 - 7:26PM

    @Xnain:

    it was a sad day when Naseem Sadiq was transferred from Faisalabad. He did alot of good for this city in quite a short time.

    Recommend

  • jibran
    Jun 30, 2013 - 8:27PM

    So finally, Rana sanaullah manages to legalize his plazas. Just wondering how much cut his cousin is getting.

    Recommend

  • Xnain
    Jul 1, 2013 - 2:20PM

    @aaaaa:
    I agree, I wished he would stayed a bit more!

    Recommend

More in Punjab