LAHORE: The Lahore Development Authority (LDA) has sought approval of the mechanism for allotment of 4000 apartments, to be constructed under the first phase of LDA City Naya Pakistan Project, from the Punjab Cabinet.

In this connection, it has decided to place a summary before the Punjab Chief Minister. The government will further be requested through the summary for determining the price of a unit, eligibility criteria for prospective purchasers as well as terms and conditions for allotment of apartments.

The decision was taken during a meeting of LDAs governing body here Tuesday, which was chaired by LDA Vice Chairman Sheikh Muhammad Imran. The meeting was attended by MPA Sadia Sohail Rana from Lahore, WASA Vice Chairman Sheikh Imtiaz Mahmood, Major Syed Burhan Ali (retd), Amir Riaz Qureshi, WASA MD Syed Zahid Aziz, LDA Director General Ahmed Aziz Tarar, Commissioner Lahore and representatives of provincial housing, local government finance and planning and development departments.

The meeting also approved the draft of the agreement between the LDA and Bank of Punjab for issuance of ‘Letter of Comfort’ by the bank to the prospective allottees, extending loan facility to them for purchasing apartments and transferring these amount into the special bank account established for the project. It further approved regulations for opening and operating a special ESCROW account for the loans being provided by the banks to the allottees for funding the construction of these apartments. These funds would not be used for any purpose other than the construction of apartments.

The LDA plans to construct a total of 4000 apartments, each comprising of two bedrooms on an area of 650 square feet. The apartments will be built in the form of four-storey blocks on 563 kanals of land at a cost of about Rs 10 billion. Every block will consist of 32 residential units and a total of 125 such blocks will be constructed under this project.

The Authority already has invited tenders from builders, firms and contractors registered with Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) in category C-4 and above for construction of these apartments. It has also invited consultant firms for expressing interest in Resident Supervision of this project. A timeline of one and a half year has been set for completion of these apartments.

The price of an apartment has been estimated as Rs 2706,519, which will be payable in form of easy monthly instalments. Applications for allotment will be received through Bank of Punjab and wide publicity will be carried out through newspapers.

Earlier, in its last meeting, the governing body had approved PC-1 worth about Rs 20 billion for construction of roads, water supply and sewerage system, sidewalks, and other infrastructure on 8,500 kanals of land earmarked for construction of 35,000 apartments in Halloki area of LDA City.

Meanwhile, for improving service delivery and to avoid public inconvenience, the meeting decided to reorganize the LDA Housing Wing. For this purpose, the Land Development and Estate Management Directorates were unified and converted into housing directorates. These directorates will perform all the functions being done by the previous directorates separately.

To promote investment and create job opportunities, the meeting allowed change of land use on payment of conversion fee under Land Use Regulations 2020 for launching area development project at two places in Lahore. The first project will be started on land measuring 88 kanal and 14 marla on Defense Road while the other will be started on 101 kanal and 18 marlas land on Raiwind Road.

To encourage non-profit organizations working for the promotion of education, the meeting also decided to allow 50 percent reduction in the amount of fines imposed on an educational institution located in Faisal Town for non-compliance with construction rules. It also allowed processing of application for setting up a land sub-division in settlement area in the light of LDA Private Housing Scheme Rules 2014.

The meeting approved proceedings for selection of consultant for preparation of a new master plan for Lahore division and financial proposal amounting to Rs 518 million as consultancy charges to be paid to the qualifying firm Dar-Al-Handsa of Lebanon. It also approved to set up a committee of experts to review the various works carried out by the consultant during the preparation of the master plan. The meeting decided to formulate LDA Private Housing Schemes Regulations for this purpose, a committee headed by Chief Metropolitan Planner was approved.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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