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May 15, 2020

LDA wing sees illegality after declaring buildings legal


May 15, 2020

LAHORE:Declaring any building legal and then demolishing it on the pretext of some illegality is the art best known by Town Planning Wing of Lahore Development Authority (LDA), which recently took a similar action in the Township area.

“Sir, the site has been visited by concerned AD TP and record was also perused and found that a commercial building plan plot No. 14 Block 2 Sector D-I of Quaid-e-Azam Town has been sanctioned on 02.09.2019,” was the response of the LDA vice-chairman to a query made by this scribe some days back regarding an under-construction building on Baghrian Road.

The reply of the LDA vice-chairman further said that the plot No. 14, Block II, Sector D-I Quaid-e-Azam Town abutting on road with the name of Bagrian Road Township having right of way of 100 feet. Bagrian Road is a declared commercial road as per serial No. 19 of notification vide no TP/LDA/590-S/1506/2011 dated 29.06.2011. The permanent commercialisation is allowed on this road. On the letter it is mentioned the plot is converted for commercial building.

Interestingly, the same building was partially demolished by the same AD TP some three days back on the pretext that it was being constructed against the sanctioned building plan and a regular press release was issued about the demolition operation.

When asked, Director Town Planning Salman Mehfooz said that the building was not being constructed as per the sanctioned building plan. To a question why the building was not fully demolished if it was not constructed as per the sanctioned map, he said the main structure was damaged.

However, eyewitnesses said that the building was only damaged lightly and side walls and centre pillar was scratched by LDA’s machinery instead of completely razing it. Sources said this is a common practice of LDA’s TP Wing to bring the building owners to the ‘negotiation table.’ They said in many cases LDA razed complete buildings but in this case only scratches were made on the walls.

Sources added that construction work was going on smoothly on the building but when The News inquired about it, LDA's TP Wing carried an eye wash operation to save their skins in the eyes of LDA vice-chairman and DG.

Citizens said that there are hundreds of thousands of illegal constructions done in the City but so far no action has been taken against any official of TP Wing. They said residential plots of private housing societies had been changed into commercial markets and no action was taken against them. “All those who met the officials of TP Wing are enjoying their businesses even on residential plots and those who refused to do so are facing demolition,” said a senior officer of LDA seeking anonymity.

He said a very big restaurant was recently constructed on a residential plot of OPF Society on the road leading to Raiwind Road from Shaukat Khanam Hospital but no one has dared to remove a brick from there so far. The same road also witnessed ongoing commercial construction, whereas, it is not a commercial road.

He suggested the LDA bosses to commercialise the roads where businesses have been established so that the authority could get revenue from these commercial ventures.

On the other hand, LDA Director General Ahmad Aziz Tarar has warned that operation against constructions in violation of building regulations will be carried out as a continuous exercise. He has warned the elements involved in erecting such structures to remove contraventions of building bylaws by themselves or be ready to face action by the Building Control Wing of LDA.

Officials said on Thursday, 13 structures were demolished at various localities in the City, including in private housing schemes as well as controlled area, by the staff of the Town Planning Wing of LDA.

They said following an illegal addition/alteration in the existing residential building on plot No. 8 Block B-III Punjab Government Employees Cooperative Housing Society was demolished. Glasswork and stairs of the building were also demolished during the operation.

Newly-installed shutters were demolished at plot No. 4, Block B-I Punjab Government Employees Cooperative Housing Society. Glasswork in an already constructed building at plot No. 15 Awaisia Colony was demolished.

Illegal construction on the ground floor at Pine Avenue Road, opposite to 14 Lahore Avenue was demolished. An under-construction residential room was demolished.

Illegal commercial construction at residential plot No. 148 Block H Valencia Town was demolished while illegal construction of shops on the ground floor at a plot in Muhafiz Town was demolished.

Illegal construction of shops on the ground floor at plot Nos. 78-79 Block A Muhafiz Town Phase-II were also demolished. Illegal opening of Yasir Broast at residential plot No. 139 Block P-I Valencia Town was demolished. Front part of the building was demolished partially. Its owner had changed the use of the building and also did some renovation work at the front.

Illegal construction at 7 Km Raiwind Road was demolished on the ground floor level. Illegal construction on Raiwind Road, opposite to LDA Avenue-I gate, on ground floor level was demolished. Illegal constructional on the ground floor at 1 KM Raiwind Road was demolished. Illegal construction on the ground floor on Raiwind Road at Thokar Niaz Baig was demolished.