LAHORE - The cartel of encroachment mafia and revenue department have caused inordinate delay in the completion of LDA's Avenue-I Housing Scheme, launched by City District Government Lahore (CDGL) in 2003 to provide housing facilities to all government servants. The Housing scheme was to be completed in 2006. But illegal occupation on the land of LDA Avenue-I Housing Scheme with illegal changes into land record at the hands of influential officials of revenue department of CDGL continued to get unchecked which not only hampered the momentum of development work but also kept the Housing scheme away from the target as set by CDGL to complete it. According to sources with a view to cope with the situation, LDA has written a letter to District Coordination Officer Sajjad Ahmed Bhutta to take strict action against the encroachers and officers of revenue department involved in issuing Furd-e-Malqeat to previous owners of the land acquired by LDA with mutation being sanctioned by the revenue staff. The copies of same letter had also been issued to the Chief Secretary, Punjab and EDO (Revenue) CDGL for taking serious view of the issue, sources said. "According to letter, LDA administration said that LDA Avenue I Housing Scheme was launched with notification under section-17 (4) and (6) of Land Acquisition Act 1894 vide No. RI / 2385 dated 4-7-2003 and No RI / 2386 dated 4-7-2003 by the Executive District Officer (Revenue), Lahore. These notifications were published in an extra ordinary issue of the Punjab Gazette on July 8, 2003. An agreement for development of the scheme was signed by LDA with Frontier Works and Organization (FWO)," sources disclosed.   The letter said, sources revealed, that field staff of Directorate of Estate Management, LDA Avenue I Housing Scheme had reported that despite completion of all acquisition proceedings, the revenue staff of the Revenue Department of CDGL was still issuing Furd-e-Malqeat to the previous land owners and on the basis of which sale deeds were being executed with the sub-registrars and there-after mutation were being sanctioned. Sources informed that due to these unlawful activities on the part of Revenue field staff, encroachments were being raised on the land, which was now part of LDA Avenue I Housing Scheme.  Block -L of Scheme among other blocks were widely encroached, sources added. Sources said that LDA authorities asked DCO to stop Revenue officers to make any changes in revenue record in respect of land notified and acquired for LDA Avenue I Housing Scheme.  LDA also requested to the DCO to direct them to cancel all sale deeds executed and mutations sanctioned in favour of private persons. LDA authorities also demanded to take action against all those delinquent revenue officers who have made these irregularities in revenue record without any unlawful authority and in contravention with the provision of Land Acquisition Act 1894. It may be recalled that LDA's Avenue-1 is the district government's first mega development residential project since the local government took control of the LDA.  The scheme has to benefit a total of 11,000 government employees. Around 6,000 government employees had applied for 10-merla (0.0625 acres) plots each and 5,000 for one-kanal (0.125 acres) plots each. Applications were received in January 2003 and plots were allotted in June 2003. Raiwand, Defence Road and Lahore Canal are being used to develop the scheme. Last year the district nazim Mian Ame Mehmood directed LDA officials for launching a grand anti-encroachment operation in the area, in collaboration with FWO, for retrieving state land from illegal occupants. He entrusted the task to a specially constituted committee for this purpose, headed by Additional Director General LDA. He directed land acquisition collector of LDA for announcing award for structures, which already existed in the area before the announcement of the scheme, with a view to demolishing them for carrying out development works on the land under their occupation. But these orders could not be executed.