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Lahore division master plan's second round of consultation – DAWN.com

by Arifa Rana

LAHORE: In a bid to get more viable and logical input from the public at large, the second round of consultation on the Master Plan of Lahore Division-2050 has been launched through public notices and hearings.
In the first round, the Lahore Development Authority (LDA), in association with various stakeholders, had organised four public hearings in Lahore, one each in Kasur, Sheikhupura and Nankana Sahib besides inviting suggestions from the public through public notices on the master plan, Dawn has learnt.
“We have started another round of consultative process on the draft master plan-2050 by inviting the public at large through a public notice in a bid to get its viable public input and incorporating it in the plan. In first notice, we issued around 20 days before, we have received over 20 suggestions / observations from the people through the LDA’s one-window operations,” an officer closely monitoring the affairs told Dawn on Sunday.
“We have also decided to invite more public input through issuing a couple of more public notices. Similarly, some public hearings, in a bid to create consensus by involving the public at large, are also being planned to be held in Lahore, Kasur, Sheikhupura and Nankana Sahib in near future,” he added.
The draft master plan-2050 projects an addition of 12.6 million in the existing population of the provincial metropolitan in the next 28 years for which housing and accommodation of around nine million people within the administrative boundaries of Lahore city district and the remaining 3.6m outside it has been recommended.
“The planning policies adopted for the preparation of master plan propose to accommodate approximately nine million people (of the total 12.6 million projected population) within administrative boundaries of Lahore district, while allowing very limited horizontal expansion adjacent to existing urban areas. Since any further adjustment of population will affect green area of Lahore district, the remaining 3.6 million people, as per the plan, will be accommodated outside the administrative boundary of Lahore district on the northern side,” reads the plan.
It states that since the future development in Lahore and the districts of Kasur, Nankana Sahib and Sheikhupura will be in accordance with the policies of the government at national and provincial level, the LDA, in principle, has approved the proposed planning policies/scenarios subject to the condition that all further actions will be taken as per law, rules and policy in vogue and in consultation with all stakeholders.
It says that in the light of sub-rule 5 (a) of LDA Master Plan Rules 2014, detail land-use survey was conducted using high-resolution satellite images and filed visits. Sample household surveys using questionnaires were conducted throughout the Lahore division to get updated information about demography, housing, social services, environment and transport etc.
For transport sector, earlier studies, especially those conducted by JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency), were reviewed and different types of surveys, including manual classified counts, roadside interviews/cordon surveys, journey time/speed surveys, road inventory surveys, public transport user interview survey, passenger interview surveys, parking studies etc were conducted.
It envisages creation of jobs, boosting economic growth considering importance of Lahore as Punjab’s financial and economic hub. In terms of achieving a balanced economy, the key strategic objectives of economic development identified and being pursued in the master plan focus on the 6 E’s — emboldening SMEs and entrepreneurship, enabling the circular economy, encouraging private investors, enhancing infrastructure reliability, engaging with and supporting local opportunities and empowering youth, women and people with disabilities.
Using modern concept of neighbourhood planning, it proposes more uniform distribution of facilities to improve access for all residents and to reduce the need to travel, thereby reducing traffic congestion. The approaches adopted for zoning include densification and mixed used development along structure plan roads that identifies that many of the residential areas of Lahore district, particularly towards the south, have low population densities and the master plan has identified broad areas where densities can be increased without a reduction in quality of life for residents. It proposes a buffer zone of nearly 500m adjacent to each structure road context and existing building, like institutional, social facilities, graveyards and parks within which commercial, business and apartment buildings are permitted, with different percentages according to a location.
On some roads, like the Canal Road or sections of The Mall, only public-realm interventions are recommended without any densification measures. The 500m buffer zone is based on a walking distance to reach the bus lines and stations which are planned to be implemented along the main structure roads, to enhance mobility and provide accessibility to alternative modes of transit to private cars.
The plan further recommends zoning of informal areas into neighbourhoods comprising around 10,000 people that will form the basis for the provision of community facilities, commercial activity and services to meet the day-to-day needs of residents.
According to official, the LDA team is currently busy in studying the suggestions, recommendations or observations received from the people in response to the public notice. “It will take around a week to study these suggestions. And if we find all or some of them viable, we will incorporate these in the draft master plan. Similarly, the suggestions / input to be received in the future public hearings or through public notices would also be studied,” he maintained.
Published in Dawn,May 10th, 2022
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