LAHORE - The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday banned commercial activities in the residential areas of Model Town Lahore.

Justice Ali Akbar Qureshi announced the verdict in a case pertaining to commercial activities in the locality. The court ordered the owners to shift their private educational institutions to some other areas.

The court granted a month-time to shift the commercial setups from the residential localities to some commercial areas.

The court has granted private schools’ owners a time of six months in this regard.

The local people are of the view that the commercial activities going in violation of the relevant laws cause traffic and infrastructural problems in Model Town . Such activities have turned residential areas into a crowded and congested one.

The commercial activities are being carried out in violation of The Lahore Development Authority Act, 1975.

However, Section 33 of the act says, “If a person contravenes any provision of this Act, or any rules or regulations made under this Act, he shall, if no other penalty is provided for such contravention, be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine which may extend to two hundred thousand rupees or with both.”

The businessmen are violating the law by converting their properties to a different use as they have set up educational institutions in the residential areas of Model Town .

Section 38 of the act says “If a person converts a property to a different use or purpose than the one provided under a scheme, master plan or classification map without the previous approval in writing of the Authority, he shall be liable to punishment of fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees per day from the date of its conversion till the default continues or with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with both.]

In the posh locality, a number of residential plots are being used for commercial activities illegally with the opening of schools, tuition centres, clinics or beauty parlors thereby causing traffic mess and inconvenience to the motorists and pedestrians.

Thousands of students and workers throng Model Town from other areas of the capital city by hundreds of vehicles which pick and drop them daily. Traffic jam is order of the day especially during opening and closing hours of the educational institutions and other business centers.

The local residents think the outsiders’ movement in their areas as an extra burden on the electricity, sewerage system and recreational facilities.