The sources concerned said that the government imposed the ban on transfer of land for indefinite period and its main objective was to control ever-expanding boundaries of the City and to check misuse of land in the name of housing schemes. Due to the ban for specific purpose, the developers would be practically unable to purchase the land for constructing new housing schemes, they added.
The government also wants to force the developers of the under-construction private housing schemes to complete development work of their colonies before announcing more projects of the same nature, they said. They held that the CDGL and the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) earlier had issued notices to a number of TMA’s and LDA’s approved under-construction private housing schemes to complete pending development work in their colonies as soon as possible.
Besides this, the authorities issued warnings to the owners and developers of dozens of such under-construction housing colonies that 20 percent of mortgaged plots as guarantee with the authority concerned would be pledged and sold out. Development work of these private housing schemes would be completed with the amount collected as result of auction of plots, they added. Later, the authorities pledged the mortgaged plots of dozens of private housing colonies.
The sources said that another objective of imposing ban on transfer of land for the purpose is to discourage owners and developers of private housing colonies and check rapidly increasing cases of frauds in some bogus schemes. The government initiated the action because number of complaints in this regard was mounting day by day as land mafia was fleecing innocent citizens by announcing new housing schemes developed on some disputed land.
The LDA and TMAs are seeking solution to controlling and monitoring different issues regarding private housing colonies with more powers and they have requested the government to amend relevant laws especially LDA Act 1975 because existing laws for regulating the affairs of private housing schemes need to be changed and necessary powers be delegated to LDA for taking action against defiant and fraudulent developers.
According to the sources, authorities reached consensus during a recent meeting to formulate recommendations for introducing amendments in LDA Act 1975 to meet the present day requirements. MNAs, Punjab Housing secretary, DCO, LDA director general, additional director general (HQ), additional director general (housing), chief metropolitan planner and other officers concerned participated in the meeting.
The authorities stressed the need for safeguarding the buyers of plots in the private schemes. They called for legislation against the developers of illegal housing schemes; selling plots that are not originally included in the approved scheme plan and marketing plots mortgaged with LDA as guarantee of completing development work.
The participants of the meeting recommended exemption of plots to the land owners, under the Land Acquisition Act 1973, may be revived for launching new housing schemes in the public sector for providing residential facilities to the people. Task for implementing the Master Plan of Lahore may also be entrusted to one single authority instead of different government departments with a view to ensuring planned and coherent development of all the localities in the provincial metropolis.
They also underlined the need for coordinated development of Lahore and its adjacent districts for providing housing and other basic facilities to the residents of these areas for curbing the trend of migration to Lahore. They recommended reviewing the proposal for expanding the jurisdiction of LDA to other areas as well for this purpose.