LAHORE - Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah of the Lahore High Court on Thursday stayed constructions in Walled City and issued notice to City District Government Lahore (CDGL), Lahore Development Authority (LDA) in a petition challenging constructions in Walled City.

The judge also summoned list of all developers on the next hearing fixed as February 17.

Advocate Khuram Chugtaee, legal advisor to Walled City Authority, appeared in the court and said that the authority was fully authorised to take action against developers. He said the authority was responsible for preserving Walled City, a national heritage, and it had lodged formal FIRs against 136 developers over doing illegal constructions.

He said the developers, especially the residents of the area got permissions from the Town Municipal Administration for constructions in the area while Lahore Development Authority was also responsible for passing maps of the new buildings. As this, Justice Mansoor stayed constructions in Walled City and issued notices to LDA and CDGL over the matter. The judge also directed WCA to submit list of all developers on the next hearing.

Asif Ali Mirza and Abdul Razzak, residents of the Walled City, moved the court through their counsel Muhammad Azhar Siddique, saying that local authorities had allowed the construction of a commercial plaza in the vicinity.

He submitted that the respondents excavated the adjoining property for building a basement, thereby damaging the property of the petitioners and have started raising illegal constructions over the said property without any sanctioned site plan and without obtaining permission from the authorities concerned. He said that the building of a 200-year-old imambargah in Kashmiri Gate was being damaged due to illegal construction of a multi-storey building on the adjacent piece of land.

He submitted that the chief minister’s complaint cell had directed the City Division superintendent of police on November 1, 2013 to look into the matter and take necessary action as per law, but to no avail.

He said that haphazard and illegal constructions and commercial activities in the Walled City were illegal, unconstitutional, and a violation of the Walled City Act, 2013, the Punjab Local Government Ordinance, 2001, and the Punjab Local Government Act, 2013 read with Building Codes and other regulations and by-laws.

He requested the court to direct the authorities to demolish the illegal buildings and also take action against those persons who had authorized such illegal commercial activities and constructions.