The Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA) has warned residents of the city’s 13 gates and circular garden against commercialisation of the area without formal approval from the authority.
The authority had issued a notification a few days ago, informing the residents that it had neither allowed any commercial activity nor approved any such map since June 29, 2012. It urged the residents of Walled City against the sale or purchase of shops and plazas in the areas notified by the authority. The notification stated that the people should not waste their money and inquire about the map and legal status of a property from the authority before finalising any deal.
In April 2012, the government passed the Walled City of Lahore Authority Act, creating WCLA as an autonomous body to administer conservation, planning, development, management and regulation of the Walled City.
The Express Tribune has learnt that the authority would start demolishing the commercial buildings constructed in violation of rules in August.
“No further commercialisation would be permitted until building regulations are approved and implemented by the authority,” said Shahid Mehmood, the WCLA urban planning deputy director.
“We are in the process of finalising zoning regulations… after that the proposed commercialisation will be approved,” Mehmood told The Express Tribune. Building Control Deputy Director Javed Iqbal Bajwa said the authority would take action against the illegally built structures in line with the relevant rules. WCLA Director General Kamran Lashari said it was important to take measures against unlawful commercialisation to save the original fabric of the historic Walled City. “The proposed building regulations of the authority also endorse such actions.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 4th, 2014.