Mapping Lahore’s commercialisation web

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LAHORE: The Lahore Development Authority (LDA) has identified illegal commercial units in various housing societies of the city and has also notified the areas where the commercialisation is allowed.
LDA identified the units being used for commercial purposes, in violation of interim commercialization policy notified by department of Housing & Urban Development and Public Health Engineering in the Punjab Gazette on October 2009, Pakistan Today has learnt.
An official in commercialization branch (LDA) said that despite LDA has launched a staunch crackdown on violators and have phased out quite a few illegally commercialised units as well still the number of such units is on the rise.
He added that around 15000 illegal commercial units traced earlier by the LDA had soared to 20000 despite crackdown against violators. He said that as per preliminary data collected, Quaid-e-Azam Town known as Township had topped the list of illegally developed commercial units with almost illegal 5500 commercial buildings with Johar Town on the second number with around 4,000 commercial units.
Gulberg stood third with unauthorized commercial units exceeding 3800 and Allama Iqbal Town Scheme was spotted with around 2500 commercial units, he added.
“Garden Town is plagued by 500 commercial units, Faisal Town 700, Gulshan Ravi 480, Sabzazar 300, Samnabad 200, Model Town Extension 400, Taj Pura 500, Mustafa Town 100, Muslim Town 150, Shadbagh 420 and Gujarpura scheme has 890 illegal commercial buildings including shops and offices,” he pointed out.
Another senior official said that the number of illegally commercialised building in the adjoining areas of Multan road had risen considerably and according to LDA data, Multan Road carried more than 3000 commercial units which had surged to 60 per cent in 2009. The Peco Road had 300 and Model Town Link Road had 433 commercial units but now these commercial units had been doubled, he claimed.
He said that LDA owned 47 housing schemes and collected data of 15 housing schemes to detect illegal commercial buildings. He said that process would be completed soon.
LDA imposed a complete ban on commercialisation during 2006-08 but people continued to get their residential properties commercialized by hook or crook. Two years ago, Lahore High Court took strict notice of the haphazard commercialisation in the city and ordered LDA to design commercialisation policy; in light of the city master plan.
LDA notified the commercialization policy in 2009 allowing maximum 4 kanal and minimum 2 kanal size of plot as commercial. Under the newly introduced Land Use (classification, re-classification and redevelopment) Rules 2009, the LDA has allowed commercialization activity along the full stretch of 17 roads situated in its control area, besides permitting business ventures on specified segments of 12 thoroughfares in the city.