LAHORE - Hundreds of people are likely to become homeless after the Punjab government has denotified the status of katchi abadis of Rasoolpura and Nawan Pind at Harbanspura in order to pave way for the construction of Lahore Ring Road Package 9. According to sources in Aziz Bhatti Town, the move has been initiated after PML-N local leaders and MPAs brought to the notice of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif that both Rasoolpura and Nawanpind were declared katchi abadis during the tenure of the then Punjab CM Ch Pervaiz Elahi in 2003, and that both the areas have a marginal vote bank of PML-N. They also informed the CM that after de-notifying both the katchi abadis, the government did not need to buy the land from the inhabitants to facilitate the construction of Lahore Ring Road. UC-41 Harbanspura Nazim Mian Muhammad Iftikhar has termed the action as politically motivated meant to undo the public welfare projects undertaken by the former government led by Pervaiz Elahi. He said that hundreds of people had been residing in these areas since 1947 and they would defend their rights at every cost. The sources revealed that PML-N government in Punjab had assured the people of both the katchi abadis after February 18 elections to buy their land on market rate to facilitate the construction of Lahore Ring Road Package 9. The government announced to pay Rs 0.2 million per marla lad facing main road while Rs 0.1 million per marla inside the areas to acquire land of katchi abadis of Rasoolpura and Nawan Pind. Later it changed the stance and got the notification cancelled under the pretext of saving money. After cancellation of the katchi abadis status of both unfortunate areas, the government has started the construction work of Ring Road. Directorate of kachi abadis cancelled the notification of declaration of both katchi abadis when Board of Revenue made it clear that provincial government was not empowered to declare central government land as katchi abadis and transfer it to Lahore Development Authority. It may be recalled that former government had notified Qalandar Pura, Badar Colony and Harbanspur as katchi abadis in 2003. Later on BoR transferred the land to LDA, which provided ownership rights to the inhabitants. The BoR has transferred 300 kanals for Qalandar Pura Katchi Abadi, 100 Kanal for Harbanspura Katchi Abadi and 100 kanal for Badar Colony to the LDA. It is also pertinent to mention that the Punjab government has earmarked Rs 2 billion for katchi abadis development in 2009-10 Budget. Katchi abadis development programme will be implemented with a modified approach whereby in addition to the regular development activities, a holistic development model will be formulated by a strengthened Directorate General of Katchi Abadis for selective katchi abadis. Options for high-rise development will be explored whereby suitably located abadis would be accommodated in modern flats, and land thus spared would be used for financing such development.