THE recent move of the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) to declare commercial activity illegal on the 24 major city roads has spread panic among the businessmen who feel that their investment of billions of rupees is unsafe and at stake.
The LDA on Saturday last has announced that commercial activities on 24 major roads were not allowed. These roads included Sabzazar Scheme Main Boulevard, Gulshan-e-Ravi Main Boulevard, Tollinton Market Road, Shadman, Zafar Ali Road, Gulberg 5, Campus Bridge Road, Garden Town, Qazi Eesa Road, Faisal Town, Shah Jillani Road (Main Boulevard PIA Scheme), Johar Town Main Boulevard (Maulana Shaukat Ali Road to Shaukat Khanum Hospital), Johar Town Main Boulevard (Canal Road Link), Johar Town Main Boulevard (Doctor Hospital Link), By-Pass Road Johar Town (Expo Centre), Khayaban-e-Jinnah Road, Canal Bank Road (district boundary starting from Wagha Side to Thokar Niaz Baig), Canal Bank Road from Thokar Niaz Baig to district limit, Link Raiwind Road from Raiwind to Aitchison Gate, Raiwind Road, Approach Road Shadbagh, Ferozpur Road (Chungi Amar Sadhu to Sua-Asil), Multan Road, Defence Road, Humdard Jail Road (Township Segment 1-Pindi Stop Shaukat Ali Road to Plot 1222-5-D-II ), Shaukat Ali Road (Segment 2- Model Town Link Road junction to railway crossing) and College Road, Town Ship, (segment Ghazi Road to 1 and 16-5-C/II).
It is pertinent to mention here that most of these roads have been hosting commercial activity for the past several years and traders of these roads termed the LDA’s new commercialization policy confusing. For example, huge commercial activity is taking place on Main Boulevards of Sabzazar Scheme and Gulshan-e-Ravi for the past many years. It is not understandable why commercial activity on these two major roads, which are full of business from both sides, is banned.
Similarly the LDA declared commercial activity illegal on Khayaban-e-Jinnah Road.
Some months back LDA official Um-e-Laila had sealed all the shops and business activity on this road on the similar pretext. However, the seals were removed the next day without telling any reason to the media.
A senior LDA official, seeking anonymity, said that under the new policy no new commercial activity was allowed on these roads while the commercial activity for which licences were issued before 2007 was legal.
Majority of traders operating on these roads said the new policy was a direct threat to huge investments which was now unsafe and at stake only because of inconsistent and discriminatory policies of the authority as well as the Punjab government.
Traders appealed to Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif to stop the LDA from enforcing this new commercialisation policy, which they termed a draconian policy. They said in case the LDA tried to enforce this policy, the trader community would react strongly.
The roads on which commercial activity is allowed included Ghous ul Azam Road (Jail Road), Gulberg Main Boulevard, MM Alam Road, Gulberg, segment of Hali Road, Gulberg (Property 136 and 64 E-1 Gulberg 3 to property 114 and 73 E-1 Gulberg 3), Stadium Road, Sharae Noor Jehan, Gulberg, Shahra-e-Quaid-e-Azam (The Mall), Tariq Road Link MM Alam Road, road Behind Liberty Market, Firdaus Market Road, Link Road Main Market (Shezan side), Link Road Main Market (Auriga side), Ghalib Road segment (Chen One Road), Garden Town Main Boulevard, Allama Iqbal Town Main Boulevard, Shadman Main Boulevard, Moulana Shaukat Ali Road (segment 1- Canal Bridge to Model Town Link Road junction), College Road, Township, (Akbar Chowk to Ghazi Chowk), Ferozpur Road (Qartaba Chowk to Chungi Amar Sadhu), Sher Shah Road, Gujjarpura, Al-Madina Road, Township, Bagrian Road, Township, Samanabad Main Boulevard, Approach Road Tajpura, part of Road Civic Center, Garden Town, Model Town Link Road, Hamdrad Jail Road (segment 2- Plot 1223-5-D/II to Ghazi Chowk), Shabbir Usmani Road (Y-junction to M Shaukat Ali Road), Shadbagh Main Boulevard, College Road, Gulberg (property numbers 9 and 10, Block K, Gulberg II, to property numbers 6-H and 24-H Gulberg 2), Park Road, Ali Zeb Avenue, Gulberg, Only Property 1 J Block to 6 J Block Gulberg III, Link MM Alam Road, T Block Gulberg-II property numbers 9 to property numbers 14 T Block, Gulberg-2, Gurumanget Road, Gulberg, only right side coming from College Road, Abul Hasan Isfahani Road, Faisal Town, only property numbers 30, 31, 32, 33, 34 Block B, Faisal Town, Shadman part of Racecourse Road, Shahrae Aiwan -e-Tijarat, property numbers 6 Shadman to property number 1 Shadman, Link Road Main Boulevard, Garden Town, property numbers 13, 14, 47, 48, 80 to 85 Babar Block, New Garden Town and Wahdat Road from Ferozepur Road to property number 69 C New Muslim Town.
An LDA spokesman said that the new policy was made by the District Planning and Design Committee and the LDA had to follow the decision. To a question about the LDA’s future action against the ongoing commercial activity on the 24 roads, he said the volume of illegal commercial activity was very high on these roads and the management was yet to take a final decision.