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LAHORE: A major crackdown has been initiated against unauthorized, illegal constructions and encroachments on the orders of Minister for Information and Local Government Amir Mir.

More than 51 under-construction commercial and residential buildings have been sealed for being against the approved maps. Even structures built without approved maps are under scrutiny for potential demolition.

Secretary Local Government Dr Arshad Ahmad told media here Sunday that following Minister for Information and Local Governments Amir Mir’s directives, action had been launched against building inspectors involved in facilitating illegal constructions. FIRs have been filed against those engaged in unauthorized construction activities.

He added that basements’ excavation beneath shops on McLeod Road in Data Ganj Bakhsh Zone had been stopped. “This measure was taken to avert the risk of collapsing adjoining buildings. This unauthorized work was carried out without any approval. FIRs have also been registered against shop owners by the local government department. The issue of basement encroachments was brought to the forefront through public complaints and subsequently addressed by the provincial minister,” he mentioned.

Notably, the response entailed not only the removal of encroachments but also the reinstatement of excavated soil back into the basements. In the Anarkali Bazaar vicinity, construction on a commercial project that had been initiated without the necessary approvals has been suspended. After the cessation of construction activities and the site’s sealing, FIRs have been formally lodged against the proprietors, he maintained.

He emphasized that unlawful constructions involved not only landowners but also corrupt building inspectors, who aided in these activities. He highlighted that stringent actions would be taken against those involved in giving and receiving bribes in the local government department.

The secretary revealed that action against illegal and unauthorized constructions was being taken on genuine public complaints, and individuals within the corruption network were being added to a blacklist.

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