Want to avoid commercialisation tax? buy property in Ravi Town


Real estate developers in collusion with corrupt officials of the City District Government Lahore and the Tehsil Municipal Authority are involved in illegal commercialisation of prime property worth millions of rupees in the Wandala Bazaar area of Ravi Town jurisdiction, Pakistan Today has learnt on good authority.
According to the CDGL bylaws, a commercialisation fee has to be paid to the local government before getting a commercial map approved from the district authorities which is clearly stated in Section 191 of the Punjab Local Government Ordinance 2001.
Many stakeholders have brought this illegal practice to the notice of CDGL high-ups, including the Town Municipal Officer (TMO) and the TRO, but no concrete measures have been taken to stop the illegal practice, sources in the CDGL told Pakistan Today.
An owner of a commercial building, on condition of anonymity, told Pakistan Today, “The government officials take bribes from us to allow such construction, which is otherwise not possible without official approval.”
He said that one can easily identify serious violations in building by-laws both in residential as well as commercial sectors and no locality is an exception to it, even residential areas.
“It’s been a while since we sent applications to the Lahore commissioner and to the Punjab chief secretary to take action against illegal constructions, but we have not heard from them so far,” said Muhammad Afzal, a local from Wandala Bazaar.
The residents also expressed their concern over the unchecked, rampant commercialisation.
“We are facing serious problems as the situation is getting worse. We are devoid of privacy because some residential areas are also being turned into commercial zones without adhering to the laws. The government should take action against the officials concerned,” said Rashid Ghori, another local.
When contacted, officials from different governments departments issued differing statements on the issue.
According to the Lahore DCO’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), TMO Malik Ibrar was told to surrender his post but he requested the DCO to review his case before initiating any action. “Ibrar was warned to improve his performance otherwise stern action would be taken against him,” the PRO added.
However TMO Ravi Town Malik Ibrar told Pakistan Today that the town administration had not received any notice regarding illegal commercialisation from CDGL officials. “But we are taking action on such buildings and we have sealed many properties,” he added.
However, as per the record available with Pakistan Today, a letter Number 654 was dispatched to the administrator and TMO Ravi Town to “resolve the matter per law,” yet no action has been taken by the officials concerned so far.
“Town officials are heavily bribed by property owners who want to get their properties converted into commercial markets.
The entire government machinery is involved in this practice. Moreover, several influential land mafia groups are also involved in converting residential property into commercial ones. The provincial government will have to take serious notice of this issue,” said another resident, asking not to be named.
The government officials take bribes from us and allow us to construct commercial plazas,”
an owner of an illegally
constructed plaza