Lahore: According to a piece of recent news, hundreds of illegal housing schemes/projects have already been developed or are being established on green areas, including around 230 such schemes in Lahore and its adjoining districts, notwithstanding the government’s lofty claims to protect green areas, grave concerns expressed by civil society over the consumption of agriculture land for commercial purposes, and court orders against it.

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The change is said to favour the dominant land mafia, which has amassed vast swaths of land in the green belts around Lahore and other divisions. The property mafia has built or is constructing housing projects that are in breach of land use regulations and city master plans.

Following the April 9 promulgation of the “Punjab Commission for Regularization of Irregular Housing Schemes Ordinance-2021,” another related to limiting the LDA’s authority to the Lahore city district alone, rather than the whole division consisting of four districts.

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At present, there are as many as 2,000 illegal housing schemes (developed or under-developing phase) in Punjab and most of them exist in major cities, including Lahore and its surroundings.

The Lahore division alone has over 600 illegal housing schemes and the number was 576 in January, this year. The 600 schemes include 230 developed or being established on green areas of Lahore, Kasur, Nankana Sahib and Sheikhupura districts in violation of the master plan, laws, rules, and regulations.

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