LAHORE - Lahore Development Authority has served notices formally to the illegally occupants of 18 important petrol pump sites of the city in order to evacuate these pieces of land, said a spokesman of provincial government while talking to TheNation here on Tuesday. The officials also captured the moments of serving and receiving of notices in video cameras so that the occupants could not deny it later, he added. Such sites would be evacuated at any cost irrespective of the status or influence of the unlawfully occupied persons because the LDA authorities are determined to retrieve the land at any cost, he added. He said such sites were leased out by the former governments, however, the then LDA administration could not retrieve land despite expiry of lease contracts due to interference of influential persons and members of parliament. However, credit goes to present LDA administration which took bold steps in this regard. The spokesman said these sites had been leased out to Pakistan State Oil and Shell Pakistan in lieu of only a few thousand rupees for a period of three years only. These companies later further leased out these sites to their dealers unlawfully who had been benefiting from lower rents in the name of lease. The spokesman reminded that open auction of a petrol pump site situated in Gulberg area had fetched a handsome amount of Rs 50 million in June this year which had earlier been leased out at Rs 0.2 million per kanal per year only. The spokesman said lease agreements with Pakistan State Oil and Shell Pakistan had expired much before 2009. The dealers who had been operating on these sites were illegal occupants who had nothing to do with LDA. The authority decided to retrieve the 18 sites from the illegal possessions of these occupants under article 39 of the LDA Act as their leases had expired long time ago. The spokesman further told that LDA had so far retrieved only six out of the 18 sites while LDA also served legal notices to the remaining occupants for evacuation of such sites. It had not taken any action on any other site. The authority is evacuating such sites with a view to generate resources required for the improvement of physical infrastructure as well as starting new development projects in the provincial metropolis.