LAHORE: The Punjab government has informed a full bench of the Supreme Court that a Lahore Building Authority (LBA) will be established to monitor the construction of high-rise buildings in the city.

The bench comprising Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday, Justice Faqir Muhammad Khokhar and Justice Syed Sakhi Hussain Bokhari is hearing hundreds of petitions relating to the illegally constructed high-rise buildings, plazas and other commercial sites in the city.

Rights: In a report submitted before the bench on Monday, the Punjab chief secretary (CS) said the government would also ensure a legal framework to protect the ownership rights of the building owners besides establishment of the LBA. He said a high level committee, comprising members from the Board of Revenue, the provincial Law Department, district co-ordination officer and other authorities concerned, would also be established. A new condominium law would be enacted to provide adequate mechanism and record maintenance for securing the proprietary rights of owners.

The appointment of a structural engineer, four assistant structural engineers and four rchitects in the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) is in process, the report said, adding that currently the LDA was utilising the services of three structural engineers from the private sector. Justice Ramday observed the court would not allow setting up a jungle of illegal plazas in the city and other parts of the province.

During the course of hearing, Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan, representing one of the petitioners, raised an objection on the appearance of acting Punjab advocate general Raza Farooq before the bench as he was a nephew of Justice Ramday. Farooq, in his reply, said as this bench had sought the appearance of the Punjab advocate general, he was bound to assist it. During the proceedings, the bench directed the owner of a multi-storey plaza in Garden Town to deposit Rs 50 million in the Supreme Court of Pakistan as fine money for constructing two floors in violation of building bylaws.

Source: Daily Times