THE City District Government Lahore (CDGL) is all set to launch a massive operation to retrieve over 40,000 kanals of the state land from the temporary as well as permanent encroachers.

Sources have revealed that the operation will be launched in the coming week, adding that Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif has already given his consent to swallow the bitter pill and allowed the CDGL to purchase all the required equipments for the operation.

Sources in the Chief Ministerís Secretariat said the district coordination officer (DCO) Lahore had recently presented a comprehensive plan to the CM, which he approved. The action plan was based on several parameters, including management of public places and spaces, to give the right of way to the citizens, clearance of footpaths and end of illegal parking.

The sources said the chief minister had directed the CDGL to involve the Lahore Development Authority (LDA), police and town municipal administrations (TMAs) in the drive. The TMAs would take action against the encroachers under 54-A(e) of the Punjab Local Government Ordinance 2001, the LDA would take action under Sec 39-40 of LDA Act 1975 and police would act under Police Order 2002.

The plan clearly mentioned that the LDA had to take action in 255 markets, 185 major roads and five secondary roads while the TMAs would carry out the operation in 91 markets in nine towns, 111 major roads and 139 secondary roads. The presentation to the CM also mentioned about 9,000 kanals of the provincial government land, about 28,000 kanal land of ex-evacuee and central government, over 250 kanal Nazul land, about 1,500 kanals of the Evacuee Trust Property Board and Auqaf Department and about 3,000 kanals of land of different government departments.

The DCOís presentation also identified issues and constraints related to the proposed operation, including involvement of staff, interference of the influential, police support, shortage of staff and machinery, illegal utility connections, evening encroachments, overlapping jurisdictions and protests and demonstrations. To deal with these issues and constrains, the CDGL planned reshuffling of the staff of TMAs, strong political support, dedicated contingent of police, rationalization of staff, purchase of new machinery, coordination with utility organizations, special evening squads, meetings with traders, media campaigns and equal treatment in every market.

The strategy devised by the CDGL to carry out the massive operation included photographic survey and database, consultation with political representatives and traders, establishment of a control room, establishment of field committees and street teams, distribution of area among staff, uniform for staff, setting of warehouses for confiscated items and post completion audit and follow-up.

The CDGL has already completed photographic survey besides collection of database of encroachments, consultation with political representatives and traders, establishment of control room, establishment of field committees and street teams, distribution of the area among staff, uniform for staff and setting of warehouses for confiscated items.