Wednesday October 04, 2023

Land worth billions retrieved in operation against grabbers

By Ali Raza
September 15, 2023

LAHORE:In a major operation against land grabbers, the LDA teams conducted a grand operation on Thursday and evacuated land worth billions of rupees by razing several shops, auction houses and other permanent encroachments at the PIA Road.

PIA Road was one of the major commercial roads of the city connecting College Road with Madar-e-Millat Road at Wapda Town roundabout. The road is popular for its busy food spots, restaurants, commercial buildings, auction houses of furniture and other commercial shops. The operation was carried out on the special instructions of the Punjab Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi and under the supervision of Commissioner Lahore/LDA DG and CCPO Lahore. A large contingent of police was also present at the scene during the grand operation against the qabza mafia in Johar Town at PIA Road.

On Wednesday, Punjab Chief Minister visited LDA One Window Cell where citizens complained about illegal possession of qabza mafia headed by Mansha Bomb on their valuable property for a long time.

The affected citizens appealed to the Chief Minister to vacate their land from the qabza mafia on which the Chief Minister directed Commissioner Lahore and CCPO Lahore Bilal Siddique Kamyana to take action within 24 hours.

The operation was started in the early hours of Thursday and continued till evening during which the government land and properties of the citizens were recovered. Director Housing VII Moazzam Rashid under the supervision of Additional DG Housing Capt (retd) Shah Mir Iqbal were also present there. The ASP Police, Director Enforcement, Director Town Planning Four, Director State Management, Director Law and other officers concerned were also present.

During the operation, the citizens running shops and auction houses gathered at the scene and offered resistance. They questioned that why LDA didn’t stop the construction of these shops and auctions houses.

They said they were paying heavy rents of these shops and auction houses and have invested millions in the furniture business and today LDA came and razed their shops without giving them enough time to get their valuables worth millions out.

Junaid Khan, a local shopkeeper said he was at his home when he got a call from a neighbouring shopkeeper that LDA was razing shops and auction houses and till the time he came to the shop it was razed over the furniture worth millions. “Who will be responsible for my loss,” he said adding the CM should also take action against LDA officials who allowed the construction of these illegal shops and auction houses.

Saleem Iqbal, another furniture dealer whose auction house was razed, alleged that the PIA Road was a frozen road but the CM and DG LDA/Commissioner Lahore was unable to see the big commercial plazas present on the road. He said only small business holders were targeted because they have no approach. He asked the CM to initiate an inquiry as who allowed construction of commercial plazas on an unapproved road and why construction of plazas on the PIA Road was still going on.

A senior official in LDA, on anonymity, said the main road of Wapda Town, many roads in Johar Town, College Road (from Ameer Chowk to Eden Society), parts of Madar-e-Millat Road, Pine Avenue, Defence Road and adjacent areas were changing into commercial zones but all relevant eyes in the LDA are closed towards these areas.

On the other hand, LDA spokesperson said that LDA teams evacuated more than 75 kanals of commercial land worth billions of rupees where mafias had built shops, auction houses and other permanent encroachments.