LAHORE – The fate of 40 slums has been hanging in the balance though the chief minister promised the betterment of these dwellers last year.
Although, the chief minister vowed to award ownership rights to 154 approved slums, ordered forwarding survey of these shacks to the slums’ director general, but on the other hand Assistant Commissioner Shahid Kalayani defied the CM’s order by ordering re-conducting survey of these 40 slums.
The City District Government (CDGL) and the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) failed to complete checklists of the dwellers for awarding them ownership rights promised by the provincial government until January 7. “The matter of awarding ownership is yet to be settled between the federal and provincial governments whether these are being built on the federal government land or the provincial government,” an LDA official said seeking anonymity.
Whereas insiders in the provincial government revealed that the Punjab government had been in touch with the Centre for years to solve the matter, since most of the slums were built on the land of federal government. Sources said the reason on part of the PML-N-led provincial government for making such efforts was to get credit from over 50 thousand voters residing in these 40 slums.
If the PML-N did not take such steps to restore their trust in the leadership, the dwellers were likely to launch a movement for their rights by using the PTI platform or any other political party. The LDA had also directed the residents of 154 slums to contact the LDA Directorate to get proprietary rights.
The LDA officials told this scribe that out of some 48 thousand claims, the government had already awarded proprietary rights to 10 thousand dewellers while the remaining 38 thousands had been directed to submit their claim applications with other available documents.
The officials said dwellers would be charged Rs 185 per marla, that had been fixed by the provincial government. This price would be given to those who were claiming for a 5-marla plot. “Those having possession of more than 5 marla would have to pay according to the DC rate or market rate of 1985 per marla, which was yet to be assessed by the government”, they further clarified.