CIA building: LDA told to decide matter in 30 days

Dawn

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday directed the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) director general to decide within 30 days a matter regarding alleged illegal construction of a multi-storey CIA building in a residential area of Old Anarkali.

Representing the residents of the area, Advocate Sheraz Zaka argued before the court that the lives of the citizens were at stake due to the construction initiated without public consultation, environmental impact assessment and seeking a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the LDA.

He pointed out that the buildings of law-enforcement agencies had been on the target of terrorists in the past resulting into deaths of citizens and loss of their properties. He asked the court to restrain the government from carrying out the construction of the CIA centre in the residential locality.

On court’s call, legal adviser to the LDA appeared and stated that the matter should be first referred to the DG. The government law officer also had no objection to referring the matter to the LDA.

Justice Rasaal Hassan Syed disposed of the petition with direction to the LDA DG to hear all the parties concerned including the petitioners, the IG Punjab, the EPA and decide the matter within 30 days.

ELEPHANT: The LHC on Tuesday issued notices to the Punjab government and the Lahore Zoo management on a petition questioning unavailability of elephant in the zoo for a long period.

A citizen namely Fawad Mughal filed the petition and pleaded that hundreds of people visited the Zoo every day and the elephant was the major attraction for them, particularly for the children.

However, he said since the female elephant, Suzi, had died two years ago, the Zoo administration had failed to bring a new elephant so far. He argued that the zoo was also facing decrease in collection of revenue due to non-availability of an elephant, a great source of amusement for visitors.

The petitioner requested the court to issue directions to the government and the zoo administration to purchase a new elephant. Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti sought replies from the respondents within 10 days.

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