Land developers benefiting from the riparian project: LHC – Journal
LAHORE: The Lahore High Court observed on Thursday that apparently the Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project (RRUDP) was for the benefit of property developers.
Hearing a series of petitions against the project, Judge Shahid Karim further observed that the conversion of agricultural land into a housing project was unjustified as the country was already vulnerable to food insecurity.
The judge regretted that no steps had been taken by the government of Punjab to allocate alternative land for agricultural purposes.
The court observed that the government must learn lessons from the 2013 law on the right to fair compensation and transparency in land acquisition passed by the Indian parliament.
The judge regrets that no alternative land for agriculture has been specified
Earlier, the lawyer for the Ravi Urban Development Authority (Ruda) submitted an amended response on the case.
The judge noted serious irregularities in the project and observed that the master plan had been approved by Ruda in December 2020 while the notification of land acquisition had been issued before it on October 6, 2020.
The judge noted that the master plan released by the LDA in 2016 for Lahore did not contain specific details about the riparian project.
A government lawyer told the court that the master plan approved by the LDA in 2016 was subsequently adopted by the Ruda in 2020.
Judge Karim observed that there was no mention of a new city near the Ravi River in the LDA master plan as the plan covered the entire city.
The judge also learned from a response from the forest service that the project would also result in the cutting of trees for residential buildings.
The judge adjourned the hearing for further arguments on October 12.
CONTEMPT: Judge Shahid Karim has advised Chief Secretary Kamran Afzal, Deputy Commissioner Umar Sher Chatha and Lahore Waste Management Company President Amjad Ali Awan on a contempt of court motion.
Representing the petitioner, attorney Sheraz Zaka argued that the court ordered the respondents on September 14 to clear the town of the garbage and rubbish heaps.
However, he said the respondents had violated the order and had been in contempt of court.
He asked the court to initiate contempt proceedings against the respondents.
TRAFFIC: Judge Shahid Karim on Thursday summoned officials from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the city’s traffic police on Friday (today) to explain the road blockage due to cricket matches at the Gaddafi Stadium.
The judge observed that the free movement of citizens could not be blocked due to cricket matches.
On behalf of a petitioner, lawyer Zaka argued that citizens had been affected and traffic blockages would further exacerbate pollution levels, especially air pollution.
The judge observed that cricket matches could not be so deplorable in the city at the cost of restricting people’s rights.
Posted in Dawn, le 8 October 2021