LDA defers allotment of plots to MCL

Lahore Development Authority (LDA) has deferred the plan to allot one of its public utility sites to the Municipal Corporation Lahore (MCL) for the establishment of a facilitation centre.

The decision was made during LDA’s 5th authority meeting held on October 14, under the chairmanship of Punjab Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi, who is also chairman of the authority. There are several plots owned by LDA in the provincial capital that are lying vacant. Besides catering to its needs, LDA allotted plots to different government departments on request against the cost mentioned in LDA regulations.

MCL had requested LDA allotment of plots 50 A/I and 50 A/Il measuring 1.7 kanal, located in Rachna Block, Allama Iqbal Town which is being used as an LDA store. Upon the request of MCL, LDA Governing Body in its meeting held on February 18, 2022 approved the proposal to change the land use of the LDA store. In its agenda item 2.2.11, LDA officials submitted the proposal for allotment before the authority meeting. In its proposal, authority members deliberated upon the case and approved the change of land use for the said plots.

Regarding the request of MCL for the allotment of the converted public sites, the authority observed that for the better utilization of the sites in question, a plan shall be submitted by LDA for the establishment of a Facilitation Center and Union Council as required by MCL on the converted sites without transferring the ownership of the said sites to MCL.

Furthermore, MCL Chief Officer also forwarded the request to LDA Director General, requesting the said plots may be allotted to the MCL on the payment of the cost of the plot. MCL Chief Officer intimated that an amount of Rs28 million was allocated in the ADP-2021-22 for the construction of Union Council offices at the said site. On March 18, 2022, he requested the Authority to review the decision in a meeting to transfer the ownership of the plots to MCL in the best public interest.

According to clause 3 of the “Allotment of Public Utility Sites of LDA Regulations, 2019”, every government agency is eligible for the allotment of a Public Utility Site on one-third of the reserve price as provided in regulation 2(i) and full reserve price as provided in regulation 2(f(ii). Keeping in view the said regulations, the matter was placed before the Authority for a decision regarding the processing of the case for allotment of the said public utility site to MCL for the establishment of a Facilitation Center and Union Council on payment of the cost of the plot on reserve price as shall be determined by the Price Assessment Committee of LDA. However, during the authority meeting, the working paper for the allotment of the plot was deferred while leaving no further comment on the matter.

Samiullah Randhawa is a correspondent covering environment, climate change, food, water and ecology. He is an International Center For Journalists alumnus and a fellow at Kettering Foundation Ohio, USA. He has won two Agahi Awards for reporting on climate change and water crisis. He tweets @sami_randhawa and can be reached at samiullahfarid@gmail.com.

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