Early completion of Lyari expressway demanded

KARACHI – Khadmin-e-Millat Pakistan on Sunday demanded of the government to complete Liari Express way on top priority basis.  Saghir Ali Siddiqui, Secretary General of Khadmin-e-Millat Pakistan  said in a statement here Sunday that the construction of the second track is still incomplete creating difficulty to the citizens due to traffic rush.

He urged President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari to issue necessary orders regarding early completion of the project. He further suggested that till completion of second track’s construction, the present track should be opened from  4 p.m.  to 7 p.m. for vehicles returning from the city. Continue reading

Construction of 2 more BRTS sections to start soon

LAHORE – In addition to the ongoing 32-km Gajumata to Shahdara section of the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS), the provincial government plans to start work on two more sections, sources informed TheNation on Sunday.

The sources said the construction of other tracks extending from Thokar Niaz Baig to MAO College (13-km) and Mughalpura (20-km) via Canal Bank Road is likely to start soon. The government hopes to finish the project in six months at an estimated cost of Rs32 billion.

The major portion of the BRTS, to be built in the centre of Ferozpur Road from Gajumata (Kahna) to Shahdara at a cost of Rs22 billion, has been divided into six packages. “The work on 10.1-km package 1 extending from Kahna to Kalma Chowk has already been completed,” sources in the Traffic Engineering and Planning Agency (Tepa) said.

As per the plan, the work on the 4.9-km package two extending from Kalma Chowk to Qurtaba Chowk is being carried out by the same construction company. “The plants on the green belts on Ferozpur Road from Kalma Chowk to the Muslim Town flyover have already been removed,” the sources added.

“The work on packages three and four comprising 4.1-km elevated lane from Qurtaba Chowk to Data Darbar is underway; while the work on packages five (a 2.5-km stretch from Data Darbar to Niazi Chowk) and six (a 5.5-km stretch from Niazi Adda to Shahdara) is going to start in a couple of days,” the sources informed.

They said the Planning and Development Department had approved the elevated lane for packages three and four. An official said the Old Ravi Bridge would serve as the BRTS lane for package five and would be closed to general traffic.

Officials involved with the project said they were currently deciding what land purchases would be necessary for the BRTS route. They said a large amount of money was required for land purchase for packages two, three and four; and they also anticipated protests in some cases.

An official said 3-10 feet land from the edge of the road was required at Icchra, and around 21 feet at Shama on Ferozepur Road. “Land was also purchased from the Old Hailey College for package three,” he informed.

He said several shops would have to be torn down at Qurtaba Chowk, as well as many shops on one side of Lytton Road. “Shops at the corner of Lake Road have also been demolished. The construction of packages five and six is simple and does not require extensive land acquisition.

Project Director Mazhar Khan said the work on South Asia’s longest flyover, which is 7.5-km-long and extends from Muslim Town to Data Darbar, had already begun. He claimed that the construction of the 32-km Gajumata to Shahdara section of the BRTS would be completed by the end of October.

Mazhar, however, said the work on other sections of the BRTS – extending from Thokar Niaz Baig to MAO College (13-km) and Mughalpura (20-km) via Canal Bank Road – was likely to start in November after the provincial government’s approval.

A Tepa planning director said it was a good idea to simultaneously start work on the entire project. “It will mean finishing the project in the shortest possible time,” he said. Continue reading

CM reviews metro bus project

LAHORE, Aug 26: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif during a high-level meeting on Sunday reviewed progress on Metro Bus Service Project, says a handout.

Opposition leader in National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, chairman P&D, secretaries of finance, transport and information departments as well as Nespak authorities attended the meeting.

Addressing the meeting, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said the metro bus service would be a unique project in the history of the country which would bring about a revolutionary change in the provincial metropolis.

He said with the execution of this international standard project, rapid and best transport would be available to citizens and Lahore would wear a new look.

He said the metro bus project would reduce gulf between the rich and the poor and people travelling in their vehicles would prefer to travel through metro bus. “The best transport
system is an identity of civilised societies and the Punjab government has taken solid measures for improving transport system.”

He said by virtue of the metro bus service, people would reach their destinations on-time. Continue reading

CDGL forms body Illegal housing schemes to be regulated

LAHORE, Aug 26: The City District Government of Lahore (CDGL) has formed a committee to suggest measures to regulate illegal housing schemes.

According to a notification issued by the CDGL, the measure will help boost the real estate sector.

CDGL administrator and DCO Noorul Amin Mengal has formed a conflict resolution committee through a notification.

The committee, headed by Mr Mengal, includes the district officer of special planning (focal person), the LDA chief metropolitan planner, the CDGL executive district officer of municipal services, the Institute of Planners Pakistan’s president, University of Engineering and Technology’s City and Regional Planning Department (CRPD) chief and three representatives of private schemes’ developers, including Defence Housing Authority (DHA).

“A number of illegal private housing schemes are operating in the city of Lahore out of which 102 schemes have been identified and publicized by the CDGL as well as LDA,” reads the notification.

“It has also created unrest and harassment among the buyers of plots and residents living in such unapproved schemes. So in order to redress the grievances/concerns of stakeholders, a conflict resolution committee is hereby notified with immediate effect.”

It says that the committee will examine the issues related to private housing schemes and probe whether the violations made by their developers can be regularized or not. The committee will draft necessary recommendations and amendments in the relevant rules (if required).

Real estate experts say that the government will have to regulate all such schemes as most of their developers have either disappeared or died.

“Now, the matter is between the authorities and the residents or plot buyers as most of the developers don’t exist,” UET CRPD Chairman Dr Ghulam Abbas told Dawn.

He said illegal housing schemes were more than 102 as identified by the CDGL and the LDA. He said in 1990 while writing a thesis for his MSC degree, he had found 113 illegal housing schemes, mostly in Shahdra and Kot Abdul Malik. He said as at that time 100 kanals were mandatory for developing a residential scheme. But developers flouted the rule and
developed schemes on less than 100 kanals without the approval of the authorities.

He said at present most of such schemes had been developed by MPAs and other public representatives as their developers had disappeared. He said he would recommend examining all schemes and ensure the availability of necessary facilities there besides allowing the investors and residents to do sale and purchase of their properties if they desired to do so.

Association of Builders and Developers Chairman Asif Kamal held the government responsible for the growth of unlawful housing schemes in the city.

“Government’s negligence has not only affected the residents and investors at large but also hit the real estate business in legal residential societies in the provincial metropolis,” he told Dawn.

He said the government’s ban on the transfer of land, granting approval on developing schemes and purchase of land for schemes had also caused mushroom growth of illegal schemes. Continue reading