LAHORE, Oct 6: The Lahore Development Authority has launched an in-depth inquiry under the Punjab Employees Efficiency, Discipline and Accountability (PEEDA) Act 2006 against its 26 officials allegedly responsible for a plaza collapse incident that took place at Board of Revenue Cooperative Housing Society, Johar Town, last month.

The incident had caused death of four workers and injuries to nearly 25 others.

LDA Director General Abdul Jabbar Shaheen has appointed additional director-general (housing) Irfan Bhatti as inquiry officer to initiate action against all the officials who were present at the site and participated or monitored the plaza demolition activity directly or indirectly.

Officials told Dawn on Thursday the inquiry officer as a first step of the procedure laid down under Section 5 of the PEEDA Act had issued show-cause notices to 26 officials, including heads of LDA’s town planning, enforcement, engineering and commercial wings, and sought their detailed reply within seven days of receipt of notices.

Though DG Shaheen expressed ignorance about issuance of show-cause notices to officials, LDA Director (headquarters) Fawad Aamir confirmed the action.

“The LDA management has appointed Irfan Bhatti as inquiry officer who has started taking action under the PEEDA Act against all those (26 officials) who were present at the site to demolish an illegally constructed plaza in the BoR Colony,” Mr Aamir told this reporter.

He said the officials who were issued show-cause notices included chief town planner (town planning wing) Chaudhry Akram, director (enforcement wing) Khwaja Javaid Aslam, director (commercial) Faheem Ahmad, chief engineer (engineering wing) Saeed Akhtar, director (town planning) Khalid Mahmood, deputy director (building) Iqbal Javaid, director (building) Ahmad Nawaz, director (electrical and mechanical engineering department) Abdul Razzaq, deputy director (town planning) Azhar Ali and assistant director (town planning) Afraz Akhtar.

He said the management had initiated action against 26 officials in the light of a fact-finding report submitted by additional director-general (headquarters) Hafiz Ehsaan.

“He (Mr Ehsaan) had recommended action under the act against all those who were present on the spot and were allegedly responsible directly or indirectly for the incident,” Aamir said.

It may be recalled that in the plaza demolition incident, the LDA management had also got registered a case on Sept 25 against its five officials — chief engineer Saeed Akhtar, director (planning) Malik Ahmad Nawaz, director (electrical and mechanical engineering) Abdul Razaque, director (town planning) Khalid Mahmood and deputy director (town planning) Iqbal Javaid under sections 322, 447, 353 and 186 of the Pakistan Penal Code.