LAHORE - A big scam of swallowing peoples hard-earned money in connivance with the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) and the Builders is brewing up in the backdrop of LDAs knee-jerk operation started here Sunday morning to demolish high-rise buildings and commercial plazas constructed in violation of building bylaws in the City. People are going to suffer huge loss of money as the flats, offices and shops, they purchased or got booked in the plazas, constructed in violation of building bylaws, are all set to be razed during the newly-launched drive by the LDA in the light of the Supreme Court (SC) decision to vacate the stay against illegal buildings on December 4 last. Well-paced sources revealed that mafia of LDA officials and Builders was involved in selling and booking flats, offices and shops to the people. They knew everything about illegality in construction procedure, the sources disclosed and added, but they continued the selling and booking operation to swindle out millions of rupees of the people. Now before deciding the fate of the people who invested their money in the properties, which are to be demolished, the LDA has initiated the demolition drive to prove itself as a public department, which can never delay compliance with an apex court decision. The people who purchased and got booked the property in said plazas are in state of despair and anxiety, and feel plundered at the hands of the LDA. However, setting aside the loud shrieks of the affectees, the LDA launched operation against three illegal plazas on Sunday under the plan to demolish more than 400 illegal buildings. The demolition squad started drive in Rabi Centre located at the Main Boulevard Gulberg to demolish two additional illegal stories and shops in basement constructed in sheer violation of map and building bylaws. Demolition operations were also started to bulldoze 4-storey Al-Rehman Medical Complex at Katchi Abadi Naseerabad, Main Ferozepur Road, and three additional illegal storeys of Inaam Empex in Garden Town, Ferozepur Road. It may be recalled that LDA finalised all arrangements to completely demolish 45 high-rise buildings and partially demolish 150 constructed against the building bylaws after PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif had taken charge as Chief Minister of the Punjab. The arrangement had to be made after the SC banned the construction of illegal high-rise buildings in 2007. According to the list provided to the SC, 45 illegal high-rise buildings including 15 at Model Town Link Road, 5 at Gulberg, 6 at PIA Housing Society, 2 at Johar Town, 4 at Shah Alam, 3 at Peco Road and 2 situated at Allama Iqbal Town are demolish-able. Famous among these are: Al-Hafeez Plazas, China Market, Akram Complex, Telenor Office, Tariq Complex, Bonni Mall, Zainab Tower, New Liberty Tower, Al-Rehman Medical Complex, Khan Arcade, Khan Shopping Centre and Rabi Centre. Those 150 illegal high-rise plazas which are to be partially demolished at Gulberg include Hemain Tower, Hassan Town, Ijaz Centre, Makkah Tower, Jeff Heights, Mega Tower, Ashrafi Heights, Rehman Tower, Zarina Tower, Lak Hotel, Hotel Building, Variety Book Shop, Leads Centre, Askari Bank, SS House and the famous Siddique Trade Centre. Other illegal high-rise plazas include 75 at Gulshan-e-Ravi Scheme, 30 at Johar Town, 12 PIA Housing Society, 3 each at Samag Berg, Garden Town, Sama-nabad and one each in Faisal Town, New Garden Town and LDA controlled area. A three-member commission formed by the SC, consisting of Justice (r) Riaz Kiyani, architect Kamal Khan Mumtaz and University of Engineering & Technology Vice-Chancellors nominee Tahir Ahmad had surveyed all the high-rise buildings in Lahore and submitted its recommendations to the authority concerned. The commission had already got demolished several buildings, including nine-storey Masood Hospital and five-storey Ahsan Tower, under the court order though the building owners had requested the commission to settle the matter by imposing penalties instead of demolishing buildings. On July 30, 2007, the SC bench had issued notices to the owners of 13 plazas in the City that had been constructed in violation of building bylaws according to the report of the commission appointed by the court. The court had issued notices to the owners of Salaar Centre, Garden Town; Ahad Plaza, Garden Town; Garden Block, Garden Town; Garden Towers, Garden Town; Commercial Plaza, Cooper Road; Alamgir Tower, Gulberg; Software Technology Park, Ferozepur Road; Big City, Gulberg; Raja Sahib, Gulberg; Liberty Gate, Gulberg; Al-Hafeez Shopping Mall, Gulberg; China Centre, Ferozepur Road; and Gold Mine, Ferozepur Road. It may be recalled that on May 11, 2007, a two-member bench of the Supreme Court had halted the construction of all multi-storey buildings (more than three storeys) in Lahore while hearing a petition against the construction of Boulevard Heights on Main Boulevard, Gulberg. The court had constituted a commission, which conducted a survey of all high-rise buildings in Lahore. The scandal of construction of illegal high-rising buildings made the headlines when Margala Tower in Islamabad and multi-storeyed plaza in Shah Alam area caved in.