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LAHORE: Teams of the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) and district administration on Thursday resumed operations against land grabbers on the third day of an anti-encroachment drive in the city.
The teams will retrieve illegally occupied land in the city’s Harbanspura and Sabzazar vicinities.
A deadline issued to Harbanspura’s protesting citizens, to submit documents proving their ownership, will end today. During yesterday’s operations, citizens had objected to demolishing the encroachments. In response, the authorities had given them a one-day deadline to prove their legal right on the properties.
In the first two days of the operation, the LDA demolished the furniture market of land grabber Mansha Bomb and retrieved over 25 showrooms and 20 commercial plots in the market located at the PIA road.
Shopkeepers and residents resorted to protest the demolition, resulting in the arrest of one person by the police on rioting charges.
The drive against land mafia and illegal encroachments in Lahore was launched a day after the Supreme Court ordered the Ministry of Interior to place alleged land grabber Mansha Bomb and his sons on the Exit Control List.
During the drive, the authority expects to retrieve 31,687 kanals of state land, 280 acres land of the forest department, eight plots in the Walled City, 636 kanals of land that belongs to LDA, and 32 plots worth Rs2 billion of the Metropolitan Corporation Lahore (MCL).
On the second day of grand operation against encroachment, 85-kanal land was retrieved in Johar Town and Sabzazar Wednesday.
According to Deputy Commissioner Anwarul Haq, raids were carried out in Johar Town where Rs200 million land spanning 35 kanals was retrieved. During operation, three FIRs were also registered.
The district administration issued warning notice to 200 shopkeepers. The administration vowed to continue the operation against land grabbers in Harbanspura on third day (Thursday).
More than 50-kanal land along Motorway was retrieved in the Sabzazar. This land had been acquired by LDA for Sabazar housing scheme and ex-owners of the land had been compensated in the forms of developed plots, known as exempted plots.
At another nearby place in Sabazar housing scheme, LDA staff retrieved seven plots, each measuring 12 marlas, located in the designated truck stand of Sabazazar housing scheme.
Director General of LDA Amna Imran Khan has said that Punjab government is following a policy of zero tolerance for land grabbers. “Retrieving state land from illegal occupants is the top priority of the government. By launching crackdown against the land grabbers, writ of the government is being restored.”
She said that the operation is being carried out without any discrimination and no one will be given any relaxation.