LDA Lahore Development Authority has declared that all marriage halls are illegal in Lahore, excluding the nine newly established marriage halls and event complexes.
The owners of these marriage halls are clearly told to close their businesses till January 31. So 30 days deadline has been given to them. Moreover, those citizen who have booked these marriage halls are asked to look for alternate options.
Lahore Development Authority has given a list of those marriage halls that are approved and those that are unapproved on its official website. The list clearly states that only 9 marriage halls located in Johar Town, Garden Town, Muslim Town, Gulberg Main Boulevard and Raiwind are legal, all the rest 151 marquees and halls in Lahore are illegal.
Here is the link to find the list of approved and unapproved marriage halls
As per an LDA official, all these halls were created illegally violating the building regulations and land use rules. Many of these halls have limited parking space which is creating traffic problems in the city.
He added, “The LDA is evaluating different options and proposals to find out a middle way as it would be unwise to close hundreds of businesses and make hundreds of thousands of people jobless.”
Lahore Marriage Hall Association (LMHA) President Mian Ilyas said that only 151 marriage halls are declared illegal while there are almost 600 halls in the city. He added, “All these marriage halls fall in the jurisdiction of district government where the LDA has no power to regulate. Most of these marriage halls and marquees were built during the recent decade. Marriage halls and marquees paid millions of rupees on account of legal fees and speed money to get approvals from the LDA. The city developer had been collecting annual commercialization fee from all the marriage halls till last year. But now all of a sudden all the marriage halls have been declared illegal, which is very unjustified.”
Furthermore, he said, “Recently, the authority had launched a crackdown against marriage halls. Dozens of marriage halls were forced to shut down their businesses on the pretext violations of LDA’s regulations. Everywhere in the city, the authority has given approval for commercial buildings without following parking regulations but it has launched a crackdown against marriage halls only.”
Hafiz Muhammad Rauf a banquet hall proprietor from College Road said that almost Rs100 billion has been invested in this business. It has created almost 200,000 jobs in Lahore. Now the authority has taken a decision that has created a complex situation for all.
A citizen Muhammd Anees who was looking to book a halls for his daughter’s wedding said, “In the past it was not difficult to host weddings and other functions at homes, parks and even on street after making some arrangements because the city had limited population and traffic. But now the population has been increased manifolds. It has become virtually impossible to hold such functions on roads these days.”
Let’s see what will be the future of the marriage halls, people employed there and citizens who had booked them for weddings and events.