“Government Empowers Departments with Three LDA Public Utility Sites Worth Rs500 Million!”

LAHORE: The government has finally accorded approval to allotment of three major public utility sites of the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) to as many government departments — Punjab Police, Archeology and the Lahore Waste Management Company — for nearly Rs500 million, under different terms and conditions.

According to the Dawn newspaper , These sites are situated at prime locations of the LDA City Housing Scheme, Faisal Town and Muslim Town, according to a working paper approved recently by the LDA’s governing body in a recent meeting.

About the sites, the document says that an LDA allotment committee had earlier approved allotment of these sites to the departments which had submitted their requests to the authority. The site required by the Police Department, initially approved by the allotment committee, consists of seven kanals, and was priced at over Rs51 million. It is situated in Block-C of the LDA City Housing Scheme.

Similarly, a piece of land measuring 33.25 marlas in Block-D, Faisal Town, was sought by the archeology department. The allotment committee had approved this plot for the department for over Rs44 million (Rs4 million per marla).

Likewise, the plot No 239-A, Block-A, Muslim Town (LDA Community Centre), measuring three kanals, seven marlas and 50sqft, was allotted to the LWMC for over Rs400 million. As per the working paper, this property was developed and included in the scheme plan to facilitate the LDA employees, in particular, and the public in general. It says that a community centre was constructed on this site in 2007-2008. “Since its establishment, the building was never used as such, except [being] leased out to M/s Kashmir Grill for a period of four years from 2014 to 2018. Later, it was placed /presented in auctions in the years 2020 and 2021 four times. However, it failed to fetch any bid in all these auctions, leaving the building abandoned for the last five years, involving huge repair/maintenance related works.”

The paper further states that as many as 11 state of the art sports complexes have been constructed by the LDA in major residential areas of the Punjab capital, attracting immense public interest. However, it says, due to changing trends, especially after the establishment of other sports complexes and preference for marquees to built-up halls, the public interest in these community centres witnessed a sharp decline. “The LWMC through a letter has shown interest in shifting its head office to the aforementioned buildings/land. The price assessment committee of the LDA in its meeting has fixed the reserved price of this land at Rs4m per marla and for the structure at over Rs134m. Total reserved price assessed by the committee amounts to over Rs400m,” reads the paper.

The LWMC, according to the paper, gave its consent for allotment of this land/building at the assessed price through a letter later on. However, the company requested the authority that it would make the payment for the allotted site in three years, while paying 30 percent of the amount in advance. The authority, after detailed deliberations, approved the paper. It also approved handover of the Muslim Town Community Centre to the LWMC.

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