LAHORE – The purchase, sale and transfer of land for the purpose of constructing private housing colonies is continuing in the provincial capital despite imposing ban on transfer of land specifically for the this purpose by the City District Government Lahore (CDGL), sources confided to TheNation.

The sources further informed that the practice of transfer of land was unchecked by the authorities concerned perhaps the departments used to forget implementation of the rules and regulation after issuing directions or notification, which means to give a free hand to the violators, who mostly are influential persons.

They also said the developers of some private housing colonies were working and moving actively in different areas, situated within the boundaries of the CDGL for purchasing land for establishing new colonies or housing schemes, said the sources adding that some developers are doing such unlawful job in connivance with the officials of City District Government and under the shelter of the officials of Revenue Department.

Earlier, with a view to ensuring planned and coherent development of all localities in the provincial metropolis and checking fraud cases, the City District Government Lahore (CDGL) had imposed a ban on purchase and transfer of land for the purpose of constructing new private housing schemes in the City and had issued a notification in this regard.

The sources concerned said that the government had imposed the ban on transfer of land for indefinite period and its main objective was to control ever-expanding boundaries of the City and to check misuse of land in the name of housing schemes. Due to the ban for specific purpose, the developers would be practically unable to purchase the land for constructing new housing schemes, they added.

The government also wanted to force the developers of the under-construction private housing schemes to complete development work of their colonies before announcing more projects of the same nature, they said. They held that the CDGL and the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) earlier had issued notices to a number of TMA’s and LDA’s approved under-construction private housing schemes to complete pending development work in their colonies as soon as possible.

Besides this, the authorities also had issued warnings to the owners and developers of dozens of such under-construction housing colonies that 20 percent of mortgaged plots as guarantee with the authority concerned would be pledged and sold out in case the developers left the development work of their schemes unaccomplished.

Development work of these private housing schemes would be completed with the amount collected as result of auction of plots, they added. Later, the authorities pledged the mortgaged plots of dozens of private housing colonies.

The sources said that another objective of imposing ban on transfer of land for the purpose was to discourage owners and developers of private housing colonies and check rapidly increasing cases of frauds in some bogus schemes.

The government initiated the action because number of complaints in this regard was mounting day by day as land mafia was fleecing innocent citizens by announcing new housing schemes developed on some disputed land.

The LDA and TMAs were seeking solution for controlling and monitoring different issues regarding private housing colonies with more powers and they had requested the government to amend relevant laws especially LDA Act 1975 because existing laws for regulating the affairs of private housing schemes need to be changed and necessary powers be delegated to LDA for taking action against defiant and fraudulent developers.

According to the sources, authorities had reached consensus during a meeting to formulate recommendations for introducing amendments in LDA Act 1975 to meet the present day requirements. MNAs, Punjab Housing secretary, DCO, LDA director general, additional director general (HQ), additional director general (housing), chief metropolitan planner and other officers concerned participated in the meeting.