Anti-Corruption Establishment arrests LDA’s Chief Town Planner, nominates 16 others in case
By K A Mian/Waleed bin Imran
LAHORE: The Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) Punjab took Lahore Development Authority (LDA) Chief Town Planner Nadeem Akhtar Zaidi into custody on Monday in connection with a case involving illegal constructions.
The arrest followed an inquiry and a case lodged by the ACE on January 2 in which 17 officers have been accused.
Sources claimed Zaidi was arrested by an ACE investigation team from outside the Supreme Court Lahore registry and was locked up at ACE’s Old Anarkali police station. Officials also detained another accused Deputy Director Town Planning Ali Nusrat initially, but later released him, sources added.
Others who have been named in the case are: Directors Town Planning Azhar Ali, Ayesha Mutahir and Salman Mehfooz; Deputy Directors Town Planning Afraz Akhtar and Ahmad Saeed; and Assistant Directors Tahir Ali, Raza Ali, Afnan Khan, Tayyab Ali, Haris, Zaheer, Bilal Ahmad, Ahmad Fraz, Hammad Ali and Hafiz Umair.
The FIR states that in the light of interrogation with the nominated accused officials any other responsible for illegal actions would also be taken into custody for interrogation.
The FIR mentions details of illegal constructions executed in different periods of time by the suspects. They are construction of Usmania Hotel (opposite to Jinnah Hospital; two high rise constructions near Aamar Hospital Service Road of Jail Road; illegal construction of UMT near College Road; illegal establishment of car show rooms in residential area of Khayaban-e-Fardoosi Road Johar Town; illegal commercial construction on UBD Canal Bank Road; illegal construction of multi-storey building on Mian Boulevard near Center Point and Bank of Punjab; illegal construction of Sphaire Factory, Campus of University of Lahore and different marquees on Defense Road; construction of restaurant at corner in Gulshan Block, Dubai Chowk Allama Iqbal Road; and others.
The LDA officers have strongly condemned the arrest of the Chief Town Planner and nomination of 16 senior officers in the FIR, terming the action one-sided.
According to them, ACE Punjab have taken one-sided action and without listening to the point of view of the officers nominated in the case.
The officers demanded of the LDA Director-General to take up the matter with the ACE Director-General on solid footing.
The Deputy Director (Investigation) ACE Lahore region, in written correspondence with the Director General LDA, said: “It is intimated that the investigation of the case is being made by a team comprising officers of the Establishment. It is, therefore, requested that the following accused chief town planners be directed to join the investigation on Feb 9, 2019.
They are Qazzi Masood Ahmed, Waseem Ahmed, Ch Muhammad Akram, Waheed Ahmed Butt, Waseem Ahmed Khan and Khalid Mehmood Sheikh.