According to news published in the leading newspaper on September 20, the Metropolitan Planning Wing of the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) has ceased the issuance of No Objection Certificates (NOCs) to new housing societies within its jurisdiction in response to concerns raised by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) via a letter regarding extensive land use in different districts of Punjab.
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Nadeem Akhtar Zaidi, Chief Metropolitan Planner (CMP), indicated that the suspension of NOC issuance was in accordance with orders from the Housing Department, which had expressed the ECP’s concerns. The letter further stated that in circumstances of extreme urgency, the ECP’s clearance is required. The ECP letter emphasized the function of the caretaker administration, emphasising that its purpose is essentially to manage routine operational emergencies rather than make major policy choices.
Furthermore, the ECP voiced concern about the growing pattern of land use changes made by the provincial administration in numerous districts. Deputy commissioners’ issuing of NOCs to various housing societies has begun to encroach on essential green spaces and productive agricultural land. According to the ECP, this unregulated expansion could lead to chaotic and unplanned urban growth, as well as raise worries about potential corruption in specific places.