LAHORE: The Lahore Development Authority (LDA) has started the construction of a road (structure plan road) supposedly for the benefit of some influential people under the guise of connecting some areas to the new defense road.

Sources say an LDA chief engineer also bought land through his goons to get the immediate benefit of marketing his land ‘as a reward for allowing the road to pass’ .

LDA Director General Muhammad Ali Randhawa has ordered an investigation and demanded an investigation report, Dawn has learned.

“It’s a big rip off because apparently there’s no need to build this road on the pretext of connecting a few localities to the new defense road. It’s also interesting that these localities already have a connection to the road through their own right of way as well as engineering town and a few other places.

“Why the construction of this road (especially the portion measuring more than a kilometer), originating from the Nespak Housing Society (Phase-III), was started on a fast lane. The road site is located near Shanu Baba Chowk, Valencia City, Khyaban-e-Amin, DHA Rehbar (Sector 1, 2), Engineers City and other known residential areas)” , an official source familiar with the development told Dawn. tuesday.

“Locals or those engaged in construction also talk about the purchase of land by a chief engineer of LDA through his henchmen with the aim of not only profiting from the commercialization of his land, but also to add value to his entire property,” said the manager, who requested anonymity.

The LDA (Chief Engineer-1, Urban Development Wing) through an announcement in the print media in April invited landowners, investors, etc. to donate their land for the road free of charge under the Land Acquisition Act. He also undertook to market their land, facing / adjoining the road (equal to the portions acquired) at no cost. Khasra numbers of several lands, where the road is to pass, were also mentioned in the advertisement.

Amazingly, the tender for the construction of this road for Rs95.331 million was also launched under the title of “Construction of Missing Links of Road Structural Plan from Chaudhry Road to Defense Road” last month. And the construction work was started by the engineering wing in the same month by awarding the contract to a company of its choice without adopting a proper and competitive bidding process.

“Prior to the start of construction, the LDA did not bother to hold a public hearing to challenge the marketing rights given to landowners against their land. Moreover, other procedural works were also violated just to start construction by will or by force,” another official source said.

He also criticized the LDA for encouraging wasteful commercialization that not only disrupts the city’s day-to-day operations but also increases environmental pollution.

“They (the LDA) should also have obtained an NOC from the Department of Environment, Wasa and other respective agencies. But he did not do this to benefit influential people,” the source said.

A site visit revealed that construction of the road was underway. The demolition of some structures should also be completed in a day or two, as workers were found preparing the ground.

“We started construction work about two weeks ago. And we will complete it by the end of this month,” said an engineer from a private construction company.

A worker said the road would cross land owned by individuals, including property dealers.

“I heard that a piece of land belonged to an ADL official,” he told this reporter.

LDA CEO Muhammad Ali Randhawa said he would take action if there was any wrongdoing from the LDA’s engineering wing (1).

“I have requested a response from the Chief Engineer (1) to your questions and have also ordered a full investigation into this matter through an investigative inquiry to be conducted by senior LDA officials “, did he declare.

Posted in Dawn, June 15, 2022

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