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January 29, 2020

LDA to outsource building inspection

Lahore

January 29, 2020

LAHORE: Lahore Development Authority (LDA) has decided to outsource building inspection for issuance of completion certificates, which as per LDA officers may result in disastrous move in future.

The decision was taken in a meeting of LDA Board of Directors chaired by its Vice Chairman SM Imran here on Tuesday. Insiders said that heated debate was held over this decision but finally the meeting amended the LDA Building & Zoning Regulations 2019 and decided to outsource building inspection for issuance of completion certificates under the ease of doing business programme of the World Bank.

Sources said several officers participating in the meeting were of the view that outsourcing of building inspection will result in deteriorated quality of building material and posed serious threats to instability of structures. They also pointed out that LDA has a large army of officers in its Town Planning wing, which will become idle after this outsourcing.

However, the meeting decided that architects and town planners registered with LDA will be allowed to carry out inspection of all newly-constructed residential buildings as well as commercial and industrial buildings up to a height of 50 feet. It was further decided that these town planners will submit cases, complete in all the respects, for issuance of completion certificate to LDA which will issue completion certificate after fulfilling codal formalities.

Sources claimed that so far the highest numbers of public complaints in LDA were against building inspections and the staff of Town Planning. They said the decision will also affect LDA’s revenue as after this the LDA will lose its powers of implementing fines on violations of building rules.

Meanwhile, the governing body of Lahore Development Authority (LDA) has also decided to start receiving development charges from the plot holders of LDA City. The development works have been estimated to cost Rs 2.3 million per kanal but the plot owner will have to deposit half of this amount as promised earlier by LDA. The ten-marla plot owner will have to deposit Rs 6.9 lakh where as five-marla plot owner will have to pay Rs 4 lakh per plot.

Those attended the meeting included MPAs Sadia Sohail Rana, Pir Mukhtar Ahmad, Umer Aftab Dhillun, and Muhammad Atif, Vice Chairman WASA Sheikh Imtiaz Mehmood, Major Retd Syed Burhan Ali, Engineer Amir Riaz Qureshi, Director General LDA Sumair Ahmed Syed, Managing Director Wasa Sayed Zahid Aziz and representatives of the provincial Local Government, Housing, P&D and Finance Departments as well as of the Commissioner Lahore Division.

The meeting decided to issue chip embedded smart card to the property owners of Jubilee Town, LDA Avenue-1 and Mustafa Town with the technical support of Nadra in order to eliminate chances of forgery and impersonation for property transfer.

The meeting also made correction in the draft Land Use Rules 2019 and decided not to allow change in land use of plots on both sides of Lahore Canal Road from Jallo to Thokar Niaz Baig. On request by the Privatization Commission of Pakistan, the meeting allowed increase in floor area ratio for the 15-kanal piece of land of Services International Hotel, on 150-feet wide Upper Mall Road.

Vice Chairman SM Imran while talking to The News said that the step was unprecedented and a milestone covered in the history of LDA. He said building inspection is an outsourced subject across the world.

Giving answers to the objections, he said LDA’s Town Planning wing will randomly check ten per cent buildings of which completion certificates were issued privately and in case any private architect or town planner found involved in male practices, his license will be cancelled. He further said that LDA BoDs has also approved passing of building map within a time period of 21 days, after which the applicant will be allowed to start construction of his/her building while the map’s approval is under way.