LAHORE: The Gulberg Town administration has started a survey to compile a list of illegally-developed/extended buildings to control unauthorised construction in the area.

A Gulberg Town official said that those who had developed commercial sites in residential areas would also be considered violators under the new campaign. He said that town officers had already started charging such sites according to commercial standards.

A town officer said that Buildings Department officers had been collecting details of the buildings that were developed against the prescribed rules. He said that the department would also collect details and whereabouts of owners of such sites. He said that the officials wanted to develop a computerised database of such buildings in the initial phase of the campaign, and violators would be served notices in the second phase.

Legal action: The officer said that violators would be asked to submit site plans of their buildings in the current state for approval from the authority. “Those not submitting the site plans will face legal action, which includes lodging of first information reports (FIRs) and arrests. He said that the arrested people could also face various penalties including fines for endangering lives and defying a locality’s by-laws.

Another town official said that people seldom took approval and a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the authorities concerned prior to the construction of a site. He said that the town authorities had received only 205 applications in the past few years for the approval of site plans. “This past practice has caused development of a lot of overburdened and illegally-developed buildings in Gulberg Town, especially in localities like Garhi Shaho, Empress Road, Davis Road, Allama Iqbal Road and Canal Park. No one ever had thought of taking notice of the situation in the past,” the officer said, adding that multi-storey buildings had been developed without the government’s approval.

May be: Gulberg Town Planning and Co-ordination Officer Sajid Khan told Daily Times that the administration had already gathered details of at least 30 percent of the illegally-developed buildings. He said that the town officials aimed at completing the survey by the end of August, and violators would be served notices after that. “The department has involved union council members of various areas to help the town inspectors collect details of illegal buildings,” he said, adding that the administration might pass the violators’ illegally-developed buildings if no major drawback was found in the construction. He said that the town administration had also accelerated the process of map approval in order to encourage citizens to get the government’s permission before constructing a building. “It used to take more than 45 days for getting a site plan approved, but we have reduced the time to seven days for the convenience of citizens,” the officer concluded.

Source: Daily Times