LDA wings playing ping-pong

By Ali Raza
April 19, 2024
The LDA building in Lahore. — Facebook/Lahore Development Authority/File

LAHORE: Different wings of Lahore Development Authority (LDA), instead of taking action against a housing project for starting construction without getting final approval, are shifting responsibility on each other, The News has learnt.


Recently, the issue of a housing scheme situated on the Canal Bank Road 1.5 km from Thokar Niaz Baig, adjacent to Eden Canal Villas and opposite Bahria Rose Garden, came to limelight as it has started construction without prior approval. LDA’s three different wings are dealing with this case i.e. Metropolitan Wing, which is responsible for the approval of the land subdivision and its maps, Town Planning Wing, which is responsible to stop any illegal construction and DEM PHS Wing, which is responsible for taking action against construction of roads, sewer lines and other services before final approval.

Interestingly, the MP Wing issued show-cause notice (LDA/DMP-V/ 644) to the builders dated 22-09-2023 with a subject “Show cause notice regarding the violation U/S 13 (5), 14-A, 33, 34, 35 R/W 5, 6 & 17 of Second schedule part-B of the Lahore Development Authority Act -1975 (As Amendment by Act XXVI OF 2013).” It reads as it was observed by the field staff of this office that you have started development works, sale/purchase of plots and advertisement at site in violation of the subject cited provisions of the LDA Act 1975 (as amended by Act XXVI of 2013), further you have been found committing the other illegalities at Hadaya Homes Land Sub Division situated at Mouza Amar Kot, Tehsil & District Lahore.

It further said that the builder, without obtaining necessary approval from authority, has started illegal development work at site and sale purchase of plots prior final approval. “The above noted illegalities are cognizable offences under the Act/Rules IBID and liable to be punished U/S 13(5), 14-A, 33, 34, 35 R/W 95, 6 & 17 of Second Schedule Part-B of the Lahore Development Authority Act-1975, as Amendment by Act XXVI Of 2013),” the notice said and directed the builder to stop forthwith above illegalities/offences and submit your reply within 05 days from issuance of this notice. In case of non-compliance, it shall be assumed that you have nothing to offer in your defence and consequently LDA shall be at liberty to proceed against the illegalities under the provisions of prevailing law without serving of any further notice.

Similarly, the MP Wing also wrote letters to the TP Wing and DEM PHS Wing to take action against the said project. It is pertinent to mention here that the Town Planning wing, instead of taking action and demolishing the houses being constructed without approval of building maps, has wrote a letter to DEM PHS Wing to take action against the said project. However, so far DEM PHS Wing has not initiated any action against the said project. Director MP Wing said besides issuing notices he has also filed an application at the Chung Police Station with the request to lodge an FIR against Saifullah Khan, Asadullah Khan, Habibur Rehman and Robust Developers Pvt Ltd through its CEO Adeel Ahmed.

When contacted, the Chief Town Planner II said he has written a letter to the DEM PHS for taking action against the said project as it was their jurisdiction. Director DEM PHS Asad Cheema while talking to the scribe said black sheep in the department facilitated such constructions and same happened here. He said he will initiate an indiscriminate action against the said project and will raze the roads, sewerage lines and other services but he has no authority to demolish the already constructed houses.

Over a question about intimating Town Planning Wing about such illegal constructions, he answered that it was not his job and Town Planning Wing has its own staff, which is responsible to identify and take action against illegal constructions. When contacted, Rana Assadullah Khan, one of the owners of the project, told the scribe that he has completed all the paper work and submitted his file at LDA’s E-Khidmat. He said he also went to the court and got a stay order. He said as per the court’s direction, LDA DG was told to decide the case within a time of three weeks but so far no hearing was held by the LDA DG in this regard.