LAHORE: In spite of high claims of the government to shield green locations, serious issues expressed by the civil society over intake of the agriculture land for industrial functions as well as court orders against it, hundreds of unlawful housing schemes/projects currently developed or being established presently on environment-friendly areas, including about 230 such systems in Lahore and also its adjacent areas, are most likely to be legalised/approved under a current regulation promoted in the district.
The step, it is affirmed, is readied to benefit the powerful land mafia, which prospered in buying big pieces of land in the eco-friendly areas around Lahore as well as various other divisions. The land mafia has actually created or remains in the process of establishing real estate schemes in infraction of the land use rules and the cities’ master plans. After the promulgation of the ordinance, labelled “The Punjab Compensation for Regularization of Irregular Housing Systems Ordinance-2021” on April 9, an additional pertaining to pressing the LDA’s jurisdiction to the Lahore city district alone from the whole division consisting four districts.
Lahore High Court Principal Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan on January 19 this year had directed the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) to quit all kinds of building and construction operate in prohibited housing plans developed on the farming land and suspend the amnesty being offered to them.
“Not a single wall surface or window must be constructed in a culture created on the farming land,” the CJ had warned the legal adviser to the LDA.
“It seems to be a huge video game purportedly on the part of the government as initially an ordinance to form a payment to regularise irregular housing schemes, consisting of all those falling in environment-friendly locations, was promoted and after that an additional came, clipping building control of the LDA and limiting it to the Lahore city alone,” claimed a private developer/builder.
“Whatever is being done really quickly. It seems some very powerful individuals want prohibited real estate plans– especially on the environment-friendly locations, which can not be legalised under the existing LDA and ecological regulations, land usage rules/regulations and also the fundamental civil liberties told in the constitution of Pakistan. Where is the PM that used to talk from time to time on shielding environment-friendly locations of the country,” deplored the programmer who asked for not to be called.
“It is really odd that if you have cash amounting to 2pc of the residential land value, you can legalise the scheme falling in green locations,” he stated.
The Lahore High Court principal justice in recent hearings on various situations had also shared major issues over the unlawful real estate plans, specifically those established on green areas. The CJ had actually also reprimanded the LDA and also other civic agencies, including the defunct community administrations (TMAs), for not doing something about it against those associated with establishing prohibited schemes. Currently, there are as numerous as 2,000 illegal real estate plans (developed or under-developing phase) in Punjab as well as most of them exist in significant cities, including Lahore and also its environments.
The Lahore department alone has over 600 unlawful real estate systems as well as the number was 576 in January, this year. The 600 schemes include 230 created or being developed on green areas of Lahore, Kasur, Nankana Sahib and Sheikhupura areas in infraction of the plan of attack, laws, guidelines and policies.
According to the April 9 regulation, the commission, headed by a retired court of the high or high court shall have the power to hear the situations related to prohibited schemes and also regularise any non-conforming land usage on which the uneven systems exist.
Likewise, one more statute was promulgated on April 12 to amend the Lahore Advancement Authority (LDA) Act, 1975 under which Sheikhupura, Kasur as well as Nankana Sahib are no longer part of the authority.
It was supposedly done on demand of provincial preachers, assembly members and also the general public who wanted restricting the powers of the LDA to Lahore only.
Speaking with Dawn, LDA Vice Chairman S.M. Imran claimed the majority of the prohibited real estate systems fell in the green areas where growth of such tasks was not allowed under the master plans and the housing systems guidelines, atmosphere as well as other policies worried.
“This issue came under discussion a number of times in courts because the LDA had no powers to authorize or legalise them,” he described.
He stated the circumstance demanded discovering a way out to at least check out the events of all illegal schemes as well as form a payment under the court instructions.
“And finally, in line with the guidelines, a statute was promoted to create a payment to consider the events of such plans, consisting of the environment-friendly location ones,” he included.
According to the statute, the prohibited plans developed/being established on the non-conforming land (consisting of green areas) can be regularised on the settlement of penalty of two per cent of the property worth based on appropriate appraisal table, adhered to by the schemes missing parks or open spaces, graveyards on the payment of penalty of the quantity equaling to two times of the worth of deficient land or arrangement of land (graveyard) as an alternate. Likewise, the fine for regularising the prohibited schemes doing not have public buildings or access road width etc has also been taken care of in the regulation.
“I am truly stressed to see what is happening in our nation. On one hand, the government, in collaboration with the citizens, is working for the last one year approximately on prep work of a regional plan and city master plans, however on the other hand, it likewise proceeds introducing such statutes to legalise prohibited plans, including the ones on the green areas. It is so weird and bothersome really,” deplored Kamil Khan Mumtaz, a distinguished city specialist and also civil society protestor.
He said the federal government should have taken such steps in line with the guidance of the regional/master intends once they were finalised and also authorized as necessary.
Mr Mumtaz said the main issue the country had been encountering was the execution and regulation of regulation. “When the people break legislations as well as establish such systems or do another crime, the institutions remain silent. And also when they take action, the general public sentiments arise surprisingly, requiring the federal government to legalise the unlawful acts,” he added.
While master plans are under prep work, the federal government, in addition to legalising the illegal schemes, had released the Ravi Riverfront Urban Growth Job to facilitate the significant and also abundant people gain more on the pretext of ‘public interest’, he said. “The federal government has also changed land usage guidelines as well as started advertising building of high, real estate systems’ guidelines etc. Whatever is taking place at present is truly worrisome,” Mr Mumtaz bemoaned.