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Wednesday April 17, 2024

LDA seals Safma office without notice

By Our Correspondent
August 01, 2018

LAHORE: The Lahore Development Authority has sealed South Asian Free Media Association’s (SAFMA) office without giving any notice and despite a stay order by a civil court.

In a statement on Tuesday, Free Media Foundation (FMF), which owns the building in Shadman, Lahore, has condemned the arbitrary action of LDA. The case of use of property is pending with the Lahore High Court that had asked the LDA to decide the matter of use of property and had not ordered the sealing of South Asian Media Library. The FMF had filed a request to the LDA to allow the permissible use for a South Asian Media Library as allowed under LDA Rules. Instead of properly considering the request, the LDA arbitrarily sealed the premises.

Condemning the LDA action against the Media Foundation, SAFMA Secretary-General Imtiaz Alam has urged Chief Minister Dr Hasan Askari Rizvi to intervene. South Asia Media Library was the only facility of its kind in Lahore that promoted media learning and education.

LDA Director-General Amna Imran, however, claimed some nine years back about 50 residents had approached the Lahore High Court through a writ petition that illegal commercial activities were going on in 177-A, Shadman, owing to which they were facing multiple problems, as the area was residential. In 2014, the LHC had directed LDA’s Director Commercialisation to listen to both parties and issue an order.

She maintained that on Jan 22, 2018, some residents had again approached the LHC through a writ petition that they were not provided justice and illegal commercial activities were still going on in 177-A, Shadman, on which the LHC directed LDA’s Director Commercialisation to take action as per law.

The LDA DG stated that in February a verbal order was issued and the owner of 177-A, Shadman, was given a three-week time to end all kinds of commercial activities on the premises, otherwise action would be taken. She said that despite a time period of five months commercial activities on the premises were not ended on which the LDA sealed the property.