The Land Acquisition Wing of the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) has allegedly paid millions to an industry for land that was already acquired by the LDA in the 1970s.
According to a national daily, during the proceedings of the land acquisition for the Allama Iqbal Town Scheme in the ’70s, the Benz Industries Limited, a functional industrial building unit, was built on the ground, owning land measuring 32K-02M.
The LDA acquired the entire land measuring 32K-02M owned by the factory, along with other properties all around, for the Allama Iqbal Town Scheme through different Land Acquisition Awards.
In an application dated 14/12/2021, the owners of the factory applied for payment of cash compensation against the land acquisition of the property owned by them.
However, the then Land Acquisition Collector (LAC) of the LDA replied that after consulting the available record of the land acquisition completed for the 1,600 Acres Kacha Multan Road Scheme in the ’70s and consulting the available record of the case of ‘Adjustment of Land’ of the factory, the application for payment of compensation was properly examined and considered analyzing all its merits and aspects with a just independent mind.
The LAC further wrote that in order to have a better insight into this case/application, the Chief Executive of the factory was also heard at length on 10-03-2022, in the presence of the Assistant Director & Deputy Director, Assistant Director (DLA), Assistant Director Law (LAW Branch), and land acquisition field staff concerned.
The LAC’s report revealed that although the land measuring 32K-02M owned by the factory had been acquired in total, the factory by choice refrained from receiving cash compensation fixed in the above-mentioned land acquisition Awards and opted to make a request for ‘adjustment’ of land to LDA authorities.
The request of the factory for ‘adjustment-of-land’ was processed and considered strictly in accordance with policy in vogue, and finally culminated in the form of an ‘Agreement-of-Adjustment-of-Land’ registered in the office of Sub-Registrar on the date:16.12.2021.
This agreement of adjustment of land covered/utilized the land measuring 29K-19M-218-Sft out of the total acquired land 32K-02M, leaving behind 02K-02M-007 Sft of the unutilized acquired land.
The report added that land khasra#695 (2K-14M) and Khasra#696 (4K-9M), measuring a total of 7K-03M, had already been acquired vide Award#11 dated 12.06.1980, yet these land-khasra numbers could not be updated through a mutation in Revenue Record, because of which these khasra #s were once again mistakenly acquired (being under the false impression that it’s an un-acquired private ownership land) by the then land acquisition staff for the project namely the Orange Line Train, in the year 2016.
Although this case was lodged at the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) in 2022, so far, no action/investigation was done on this issue.