Division of Lahore into more districts: Lack of consensus leads to shelving of all proposed plans.

LAHORE -- Various plans to divide Lahore into two, three or four districts have been deferred after the authorities concerned couldn't reach a consensus on the matter due to various administrative, functional and political issues.

The plans were aimed at improving governance and service delivery in the provincial capital-the second largest city and metropolitan corporation of the country, Dawn has learnt.

'The initial plan was introduced in 2017 under which Lahore was to be divided into four districts. The plan was devised after a massive increase in the city district's population that, at that time, had reached around 10.1m,' an official source in the Punjab government told Dawn on Sunday.

He said that initially, a committee, headed by the Lahore commissioner, was also formed and it had reached the consensus to go ahead with the plan since Lahore, according to the committee members, had become difficult to manage with the existing administrative and functional structure due to increasing population with massive horizontal growth of the city.

The official said that with the lapse of time uncertain political situations started developing in 2017 and the proposal was dropped. However, in 2019, the proposal was revived with a suggestion to reduce the number of districts from four to three. In 2020, another proposal, apparently more viable, was floated.

According to the new proposal, Lahore was to be divided into two districts. This proposal was finally declared as viable in a meeting on Dec 3, 2020. It suggested bifurcation of Lahore City district into City and Saddar districts with creation of five new tehsils - Ferozewala, Thokar Niaz Baig, Kahna, Kot Abdul Malik and Harbanspura - in the two proposed districts.

The then Lahore DC had also asked to expedite the preparation of a PC-2 for carrying out impact assessment study for geographic and social/cultural cohesion by hiring consultancy services under the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority Rules with a direction to retain the historical character of the city during the division.

The City district was to have tehsils of City, Thokar Niaz Baig, Model Town, Kahna and Raiwind while the Saddar district was proposed to have Ferozewala, Kot Abdul Malik, Shalimar, Cantt and Harbanspura tehsils.

The City tehsil would include qanoongois of Lahore Khas, Shahdara, Naulakha, Sandah and some others mentioned in the master plan, including the Ravi Urban Development Authority (Ruda) and revenue estates...

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