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Half of Lahore kept out of commercialisation

LAHORE – The business community as well as the land developers of the provincial capital, while expressing their concerns over declaration of over 58 roads’ as ‘commercial’, have said the recently-developed southern parts of the city have once again been neglected.

They said the roads which were given commercial status don’t cover the important southern areas of the city, which is likely to create hurdles in the development of these areas. In this way, they said, almost half of the capital city has been kept away from commercialization, which is totally unjust for the business community and particularly for real estate businessman.

They, however, appreciated the Punjab government for granting commercial status to the PIA main boulevard, saying it reflected the Punjab govt business-friendly policy.

In this regard Anjuman-e-Tajiran PIA Main Boulevard held a function to pay tribute to the area MNA Afzal Khokhar and MPA Malik Saiful Mulook for their special efforts to get approved the commercial status for the road.

Anjuman-e-Tajiran PIA main boulevard chief Ms Wadiri Bibi speaking on the occasion said that the LDA tried to demolish several setups on this road but the timely intervention of the area MNA and MPA avoided the loss. The traders said that now they would be able to operate their business without the threat of closure. They said that previously they were worried about the future but now they could either enhance or renovate their commercial centres, which would definitely boost their business.

The owner of a CNG station Azizur Rehman told The Nation that the policy did not extend to main boulevard Khayaban-e-Firdosi (from Shoq roundabout to Shokat Khanam Hospital). He said that Johar Town and Southern bypass (from canal bank to Wapda Town roundabout) were also neglected to be granted as commercial area.

A real estate businessman Tayyab Khalil appreciated the step of the govt to grant the commercial status to the PIA road, but demanded to also include the southern part of the city in commercialization net. He said the Punjab government had completely banned commercialisation on 20 roads in LDA residential areas falling in different housing schemes. After this ban all illegal commercial buildings already constructed on the roads were pulled down in different phases. No one was allowed to convert those residential areas in commercial venues.
He said that the govt (LDA) recently has lifted restrictions on commercial activity on 58 roads in the city in a bid to raise more revenue for development.

Under the authority’s new commercialisation policy, the roads will now be open to any commercial concerns. He said that the govt has also eased restrictions on building height. He flayed the govt for not taking on board all stakeholders including traders’ unions, economists and builders in this regard.

The roads on which commercial activity was allowed for the first time are Main Boulevard, Gulshan-i-Ravi; Main Boulevard, PIA Scheme (Wapda roundabout to Hakim Square); parts of Main Boulevard, Johar Town; the approach road to Shadbagh (Tajpura Mor to Gol Ground, Shadbagh); Multan Road (Yateem Khana Square to Defence Road); segments of College Road, Township; and Ferozepur Road (Chungi Amar Sidhu to Sua-Asil).

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