The Lahore Development Authority (LDA) has undertaken remarkable projects, thereby transforming several parts of majestic Lahore. However, the authority’s own housing scheme, LDA Avenue I, has recently suffered a slight setback that renders it incapable of acquiring land from five other housing schemes.
As per a news source, the Lahore High Court has honoured the petitions of five cooperative housing societies. Filed in 2003, these petitions challenged the authority’s acquisition plans under the Land Acquisition Act 1894.
LDA Avenue I, launched in 2002, acquired land from various societies. This included 14,458 kanals and nine marlas from Chiniot Cooperative Housing Society, 328 kanals from Islamic Research Scholars Cooperative Housing Society Limited, 320 kanals from Electrical and Mechanical Engineers Cooperative Housing Society Limited, 182 kanals from Punjab Board of Revenue Employees Cooperative Housing Society Limited, and 300 kanals from Punjab Civil Secretariat Employees Cooperative Housing Society.
Reportedly, petitioners adamantly claimed that this land was to facilitate their own members and could not be reacquired for ‘public purpose’.
Justice Ibadur Rehman Lodhi presided over the case. He said direct notifications issued by the LDA could not be considered valid under the law as they were not made to accommodate emergencies. Additionally, almost all schemes in question were developed, with land allotted to respective owners at the time the authority issued a notice. Some schemes had even commenced the construction of homes.
According to the source, LDA refuted this argument, stating that the petitioners’ societies had not been approved by the authority and unless such sanctions were given, no scheme was valid in areas controlled by the LDA.
However, as of now, the LDA has been prevented from acquiring the land belonging to the petitioners. Although this may hinder the progress of LDA Avenue I, we must note that 69% of land acquired already is absolutely clear and in the authority’s possession. This recent issue has not majorly impeded development progress and construction is underway.
LDA Avenue-I is indeed a promising project and we fervently hope that all land acquisition issues are resolved soon.