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Land mafia grabs LDA graveyard

LAHORE – Outer boundaries of a piece of land allocated by Lahore Development Authority for graveyard in China Scheme and about half area of the site of Doctors Hostel adjacent to Kot Khawaja Saeed Hospital of City District Government have been grabbed by land mafia, TheNation learnt on Friday.

Former District Nazim Mian Aamir Mehmood allocated the piece of land comprising more than four acres worth millions of rupees for graveyard and a Janazgah in 2007-8 on the demand of the area people and he announced and approved the site for the purpose keeping in view the problems of the area people in this regard.

Area people informed this scribe that the LDA authorities constructed a wall for covering the entire piece of land for graveyard on directions of former district Nazim.

However, during construction of boundary wall of the graveyard and Janazgah, the land mafia in connivance with the officials, changed the map of the site, compelling the officials to leave space at outer side of the boundary wall.

They started erecting temporary structures for rent purposes and the practice is still continuing, alleged area residents.

Earlier, the officials retrieved the land of graveyard from the mafia who were using the site for business purposes because the site is situated in the middle of the business hub of the area – Sher Shah Road and Chah Miran Road, they added.

But later, the land mafia rented out the piece of land, adjacent to the boundary wall of the graveyard and LDA authorities are still silent on the issue, which exposed their role in such criminal act, said Muhammad Abid, a property dealer.

Initially, the land mafia converted the land adjacent to the boundary wall of the graveyard into heaps of garbage but later they by using sanitary staff of the UC concerned started removing garbage and constructed shops.

He further alleged that the same land mafia was involved in grabbing land, allocated for the Doctors Hostel adjacent to Kot Khawaja Saeed Hospital and Baradari of Sher Singh. They have constructed their homes on the land.

However, the City District Government authorities succeed to retrieve half of the land on the site of hostel.

Malik Shahid Mehmood, a resident of China Scheme also alleged that the land mafia, allegedly backed by MPA belonging to ruling party is involved in the unchecked practice of grabbing private and government land in the Scheme and the surrounding areas from a couple of years. Some locals alleged that MPA of concerned constituency 143, his blue-eyed and some other influential people grabbed the land in connivance with local patwari, LDA officials and agents.

Former Naib Nazim UC China Scheme Malik Muzaffar Hussain alleged that besides selling a number of plots, they also sold out a portion of an LDA’s approved public park, situated at C-Block of China Scheme.

He further alleged that the MPA is also getting his due share from various ongoing development projects from contractors besides getting contract through his ‘agent’ Naeem Andawala (egg seller), who now is owner of a grand house and had a number of cars.

He also gifted a car to MPA Shahbaz Chaudhry after completing his first contract ‘successfully’.

He said that according to government directions, the district administration is passing only MPAs proposed development schemes in the city and by taking benefit of the situation, the MPA concerned is misusing his powers and is minting money instead of focusing on the development of the area.

All the town officials also are silent on his misappropriations and seem helpless in this regard.

MPA Ch Shahbaz and LDA Director General Abdul Jabbar Shaheen were not available for their versions in this regard.

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