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SC seeks report on illegal highrises

THE Supreme Court of Pakistan Tuesday ordered the Punjab government and the Lahore Development Authority to submit a building-wise report and recommendations about the line of action against buildings built in violation of rules and regulations.

The court further ordered the parties to inform it that which illegalities could be condoned about the buildings and which could not be condoned.

Earlier, the court had appointed a commission to submit report on the buildings before a full bench which was hearing the case of illegal high rises in the city.

The SC bench, headed by Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday, during the proceedings said it was of prime concern that the LDA was taking no action against illegal construction rather officials were reportedly demanding bribe to pass the illegal building plans.

The LDA’s legal advisor Salman Butt told the bench that some 30 engineers had been appointed to check structures of buildings while legislation was also under process to stop menace of constructing illegal buildings.

An LDA official also told the court that commercialisation of buildings was banned for two years. He also said that if a construction plan was not passed in 45 days, the builder could go on with construction.

This annoyed Justice Ramday said that the rule would allow builders to exploit the situation and construct as many storeys of building as they wanted, adding that the LDA should seriously make efforts to stop this practice.

Justice Ramday, however, made it clear that the court was not against the construction of high rises in the city but this should be done as per rules and regulations. He pointed out that people in the walled city had constructed 10-storeyed buildings on four marla plots and no one had dared stop them.

The bench also issued a contempt notice to owner of the Salaar Tower after the LDA’s counsel pointed out that a builder was fined of Rs50 million but the cheque of the same amount was dishonoured by the bank concerned. Justice Sair Ali and Justice Jawwad S Khawaja were the other members of the bench. Next hearing of the case will be held in first week of October.

Source: The News

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