LAHORE - Lahore Development Authority has achieved new milestones of public service during the year 2014 by quick execution of development projects, improvement in administrative affairs, introduction of institutional reforms and swift disposal of day-to-day public matters.

Government has awarded Tamgha-e-Imtiaz to Director General LDA Ahad Khan Cheema for completion of Lahore Metro Bus Project in 11 months only. Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif nominated Kh Ahmad Hassan as vice Chairman and MPA Bao Muhammad Akhtar, Yaqoob Nadeem Sethi, Arif Khan Sandhela and Rana Muhammad Arshad as members of LDA governing body.

Project for introduction of E-governance in LDA and computerisation of record was commenced which will cost Rs 256 million. Files of more than 80,000 plots in LDA’s own housing schemes will be scanned and digitised under this project. All the applications received at the One Window Cell of LDA for transfer of plots, approval of building plans, issuance of completion certificates and disposal of other public matters will be carried out through the specially designed software after the completion of this project.

Handing over possession of plots, carved out on 69 per cent clear area of LDA Avenue-I Housing Scheme was started in September 2014. The scheme had been launched 11 years ago but possession of plots could not be handed over to respective owners so far. Physical possession of clear plots to their owners was now being furnished and all the procedural formalities for this purpose were being completed in just one day.

LDA extended the area being acquired for its new housing scheme, LDA City, from 45 thousand kanals to 61 thousand kanals. Hence, it will now be the largest housing scheme in Pakistan.

Reforms were introduced in the procedure for transfer of plots situated in LDA housing schemes. In order to safeguard the rights of prospective purchasers and to eliminate chances of bogus transfers, getting a No Objection Certificate for owner of plot from LDA was made a mandatory condition before actualising any transaction. Fee charged by LDA for transfer of plots was reviewed after 21 years. This decision had helped in discouraging the elements and factors responsible for artificial hike in the prices of plots.

A ‘Record Sifting Cell’ had been established by LDA for removing impediments and simplifying the procedure for transfer of plots of Johar Town Scheme, in minimum possible time. The cell was thoroughly examining all the property files of Johar Town, one by one. As many as eight types of reports were being taken on every property file. After no negative observation was recorded by any directorate/ Wing; a Clearance Certificate was being issued and placed in that file. All subsequent transactions on the properties of these file would not require any further.

People friendly amendments had been introduced in building regulations for comfort and convenience of the people. Now four-storey structures could be constructed on residential plots instead of three storeys.

Lahore Development Authority established a state of the art day care centre at its Johar Town office for looking after the infants and babies of women working in the office.

Traffic Engineering and Transport Planning Agency (TEPA), a subordinate agency of LDA, executed six mega projects in the provincial metropolis at a cost of Rs.11 billion in a short span of eight months only. These projects  included Walton Flyover, Azadi Chowk Interchange and New Circular Road, Qainchi Signal-Free Junction, Ghazi Road-General Hospital double U-turns, Chungi Amer Sidhu-Kamahan double U-turns and Khyara Bikers Ring. Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif admired execution of Azadi Chowk Signal Free Junction project in Lahore during a briefing on development projects in Model Town on 18 October and lauded performance of Ahad Khan Cheema for completing this project in a transparent manner in record time.

The Engineering Wing of LDA accomplished 3.4 kilo-meters long project for connecting Moulana Shoukat Ali Road Johar Town with Multan Road via Punjab University and Kareem Block Allama Iqbal Town, at a cost of Rs.1.72 billion. A new two kilo-meters long two-lane dual carriage way, along with a cycle track on both sides, has been constructed. A 5.2 meters deep underpass has also been constructed along Canal Road for easing the traffic going towards Muslim Town from Tokhar Niaz Baig. Widening and improvement of road in Kareem Block Allama Iqbal and realignment of Kharak Drain has been done and a signal free junction at Canal Bridge Jinnah Hospital was being established for the benefit of 1.53 lac vehicles per day, under this project.

Project for connecting two important inter-city roads, Ferozepur Road and Multan Road, by covering Cantt Drain and constructing a two kilo-meters long three-lane dual carriage way from LOS stop Ferozepur Road to Multan Road was in final stages. This project will benefit thousands of vehicles daily in terms of time and fuel cost saving.

Lahore Development Authority has extended its development activities to the adjoining districts of Lahore for spreading the benefits of development and modern public facilities. Widening and improvement of Sargodha Road at a cost of Rs.2.41 billion and construction of a hockey stadium with a sum of Rs 197 million in Sheikupura were underway. Work for construction of Kasur Bypass, linking Ferozepur Road with Depalpur Road at a cost of Rs 1.5 billion has also been started by TEPA.

Town Planning Wing of LDA introduced business-friendly Commercialisation Policy in April 2014 and allowed annual commercialisation of properties for next 10 years. The permission would be extendable every year however it will not apply on properties abutting Lahore Canal Road. The annual commercialisation fee was being charged at the rate of 1.25 per cent per year of the commercial value of a property and could be deposited in two equal instalments. No alteration in the structure of such building was permissible for which permission for annual commercialisation had been obtained.

LDA collected more than Rs. 2.88 billion on account of commercialisation fee, including Rs. 2.25 billion under the head of permanent commercialisation and remaining Rs 630 million against annual/ temporary commercialisation during the year 2014.