As security becomes a cause for concern, the United States (US) Consulate and the Punjab government have both felt the need to shift the US Consulate building to an area which is secure and located on the outskirts of Lahore. Obviously, the US Consulate requires a large piece of land in an area which is well-maintained and easily accessible for visitors. According to sources, the US Consulate will be moved to the Diplomatic Enclave of LDA City, Punjab’s largest housing project spanning more than 60,000 kanals.
The security situation deteriorated after several demonstrations held in September 2012 against the release of an American profane film. The protestors had been able to get through several pickets and were stopped at a mere 50 metres distance from the current consulate building. Some demonstrators even attempted to break into the building, causing the police to take stern action. Some protestors were still successful in climbing concrete barriers and setting the US flag ablaze. All of this raised serious concerns about the security of the US Consulate.
Reportedly, the consulate had made a request to the Punjab government to allocate land in a secure area at a considerable distance from the main city for the development of a new building. In response, the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) suggested that 65 acres of land be given to the US Consulate in LDA City’s Diplomatic Enclave. Later on, officials of the US Consulate and the Punjab government approved the proposed arrangement.
An LDA City official told reporters that a memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed between the LDA and the US Consulate.
Sixty five acres (520 kanals) of land will be allocated for the development of the building in LDA City. The building will precisely be situated in Sidhar Village, 80% area of which has already been acquired by the LDA. The village in question spans 4,000 kanals. The LDA has acquired 3,500 kanals, while it is in the process of acquiring the remaining 500 kanals.
The LDA official also confirmed that development work in LDA City would begin by September, while balloting would take place in February 2017.
What else is expected to be located to the Diplomatic Enclave? Countries such as Saudi Arabia and China are interested in establishing consulates or diplomatic missions in the area. The Chinese ambassador has also visited the area and has requested the authorities concerned for the allocation of land to establish the Chinese consulate there. Proposals for the establishment of an education city near the enclave are also under consideration. Private education groups and other parties have expressed their willingness to open schools and colleges in this area.
It seems that LDA City will house important institutions and will also experience gridlocks because of the Diplomatic Enclave and Education City. While traffic may be a slight nuisance for residents, LDA City is expected to be a popular residential area with a huge potential for investment.
We will definitely keep you posted as these plans begin to materialise! Would you consider LDA City as a place for residence because of the Diplomatic Enclave and Education City? Let me know in the comments below.