LAHORE - The LDA will seal more than 2,000 illegal commercial buildings including marriage halls, shopping plazas, private offices, educational institutions, beauty parlours, and others constructed during last two fiscal years at its own housing schemes and controlled areas. While the action against those commercial buildings built during current financial year has been deferred due to unavoidable reasons. All these properties had been commercialised when the commercialisation was banned. According to details, the authority had imposed complete ban on commercialisation during 2006-07, 2007-08 but despite that people continued to get their properties commercialised, being in league with LDA insiders. Though the TMOs were not authorised to allow people to convert residences into commercial units yet NOCs were issued with impunity. Taking stock of the situation, present Punjab government ordered LDA to take strict action against those involved in illegal business of conversion. Authority concerned has so far issued 5,000 challans and submitted in courts.   The mushroom commercial activity without proper planning has been witnessed in the residential areas of Gulberg, Data Gang Bukhsh, Ravi and Samanabad Towns in the last five years. Adding to it the ongoing clandestine commercialisation, particularly in Gulberg and Ravi Towns, has put an additional burden on the existing residential infrastructure. It may be recalled that two years ago LHC had issued direction to LDA to firm up new commercialisation policy to cope with unplanned commercial practices. However, LDA did not bother to comply with the orders. Later on, LDA former Director General Muhammad Arif had also planned to carve out new LDA commercialisation policy. But after some development, new commercialisation policy hit the snags. Sources said LDA failed to collect Rs 600 million revenue regarding commercialisation fee during one year due to inordinate delay in commercialisation policy. They said that LDA had 25 per cent controlled area against 75 per cent by the City District Government Lahore. But it collected Rs 600 million vis-a-vis CDGL which gathered Rs 100 million under the head of commercialisation. Sources said that LDA evolved the new commercialisation policy for its housing schemes and controlled areas and got it approved by its governing body before the establishment of new govt in Punjab. However, new Punjab govt after assuming the charge, stopped LDA to implement the policy. Meanwhile, LDA's new commercialisation policy considered to be lenient to defaulters, has hit the snags. According to new policy being formulated by the LDA, three star hotels, residential apartments, flats, shopping malls, plazas, markets, departmental stores, financial institutes, showrooms, restaurants, parking plazas, business institutions would be constructed in those places declared as commercial areas. The district government and town administrations would be empowered to allow the construction of buildings of research institutes, marriage halls, cinemas, theatres, auditoriums, concert halls, big halls for exhibition, petrol pumps, bus and truck terminals and private hospitals on at least four kanals land. The same authority would be empowered to allow the construction of cottage and light industry, warehouses and storages in industrial areas. While in industrial areas, no one will be permitted to start the business of storing and manufacturing of explosive material like ammunition, fireworks, gunpowder, phosphorous, dynamite and other inflammatory substances. According to outline of the policy, commercialisation fee would be reduced to help boost business activities. As much as 20 per cent was charged over the market rate to convert any land into commercial land in past. Now it will be reduced to 10 percent. Processing fee would be waived off completely. In case of map fee, a flat rate would apply to all sizes of plots. According to rules, commercial activities will be banned in approved residential schemes. It may be recalled that the owners of over 100 commercial properties located in Model Town Extension Scheme, Faisal Town and New Garden Town were issued red warrants due to non-payment of prescribed commercialisation fee to Lahore Development Authority (LDA). The Commercialisation Directorate of Lahore Development Authority (LDA) has launched full-fledged anti-default drive against the commercialised buildings and sealed a total of five properties at various places during first day of operation in the city. These properties were being utilised by two private schools and an estate office, without paying commercialisation fee charged at the rate of 20 per cent of the total value of the urban land based on valuation tables prepared under the Stamp Act 1899. Sources revealed that defaulters of the commercialisation fee were directed to deposit the amount due to them, failing which their properties could be sealed. They said that red warrants have also been issued to them. Sources said LDA had also started conducting a complete survey to identify those residential buildings converted into commercial properties without paying the commercialisation fee in the City.