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CJP takes Sindh govt to task over delay in removing Karachi encroachments

Directs Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah to submit an implementation report within a month

KARACHI: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) on Tuesday censured the Sindh authorities over delay in removing encroachments from the port city and directed provincial Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah to submit an implementation report to the court within a month.

The CJP made these remarks while presiding a case regarding encroachments from the metropolis in Supreme Court’s Karachi’s Registry.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, Education Minister Saeed Ghani, Adviser to Chief Minister of Sindh on Law, Anti-Corruption Establishment Murtaza Wahab, Local Government Minister Nasir Hussain Shah along with Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) director-general, Sindh advocate general m Karachi Commissioner and other officials appeared before the apex court.

During the proceedings, CJP Ahmed inquired about SC’s previous order of removing encroachments from Karachi.“The order was issued a year-and-a-half ago but it has not been implemented yet. Should we start contempt proceedings?” the CJP asked.

CJP Ahmed remarked that lands in front of Mohta Palace had been seized by someone by making fake papers.

“Once children used to play there,” CJP Ahmed told Karachi Commissioner. “The buildings of the city are still in place. Please tell us which building has been demolished as of yet? Have you seen the situation in Lyari where playgrounds and parks have been removed? What is the position of Bagh Ibn Qasim?”

Expressing displeasure over the issue of relinquishing the land of Kidney Hill Park, the chief justice said that if the land was not cleared, he would send Karachi Concessioner to jail.

SC ordered the immediate clearance of Kidney Hill Park and directed the park to be restored to its original form and completed by June 31, 2021, and be opened to the public.

The apex-judge also expressed anger towards DG SBCA and remarked that people should just start praying for the port city as everyone knows what the authority has done to it.

“There have been illegal constructions in the city with the approval of the government,” the chief justice remakred saying that the there are tall buildings are being built everywhere.

He further stated that everyone had witnessed what ensued during the census.“This city is now privately owned, everyone has created their own area. You people sold land illegally; the poor invested all their lives in,” the CJP observed.

To this, DG SBCA responded that the organisation was working to eliminate encroachments.“What will you do? Bulldoze the poor? The whole mafia runs with every single man involved in the Sindh building (secretariat)” CJP Ahmed said.

The DG replied that he has the support of the government and will work.The chief justice, to this, remarked that the DG has presented such a weak argument because had there been a writ of the government the case would not have existed.The CJP further questioned how many people were affected by the construction of the Green Line Bus service.

The head of Karachi Infrastructure Development Company (KIDC) said that a junction of three lanes was being constructed.“The Green Line buses have been ordered which will arrive by May and 300,000 people will be able to travel from Surjani Town daily.”

“The truth is that you destroyed the city. If you had to do something, you would have built ring roads,” the chief justice said.“You have to provide drinking water to the people and fix drains as well the CJP stated and inquired about what happened to the RO plants in Thar?

The top judge also inquired about a plot acquired for the Red Line bus service.An opposing counsel said that the Sindh government had illegally allotted a plot near the airport. To which, CJP Ahmed said that thankfully the Sindh government had not allotted the airport to anyone.

CM Murad apologized to the court for the delay in submitting the implementation report.“We do not need your apology. Give us a report on the implementation of the order. The entire order has just been read-out. Nothing has been done,” the chief justice replied.

“I respectfully disagree that nothing has been done,” CM Murad replied explaining that new sewerage lines were being installed from Shaheed Millat to Tariq Road, University Road.”

The chief justice said that the citizens of Karachi were living in a village and that the whole city has turned into one as there were ‘no roads, no water and no parks.’The chief minister requested a respite for the submission of the implementation report which the apex-court granted.

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