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KARACHI: Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday sought the details of all amenity plots in Karachi and ordered Director General (DG) Karachi Development Authority (KDA) to furnish the details.

At Karachi Registry, a three-member bench of SC headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Gulzar Ahmed ordered KDA to inform the court how many amenity plots are in the city and for which purpose they are being used now.

Reacting to construction of private hospitals on amenity plots, CJP remarked, “Only government hospitals and schools can be built on amenity plots. People have encroached upon these lands and are using them for commercial purposes.”

CJP said that shopping malls have been built on the plots that were allotted for parks.

Bench ordered KDA to prepare a detailed report of their master plans, and how and when these plots were allotted.

Meanwhile, CJP ordered Pakistan Railways to retrieve its land illegally occupied under the name of residential societies, while hearing a case related to occupation over Pakistan Railways land. “The land given to PR for operational purposes was being used for commercial purposes, the CJP remarked”.

Thousands of houses including high-rise buildings have been constructed on the Pakistan Railways land, he said.

A railway station was supposed to be built on the land located in the city’s Gulshan-e-Iqbal, but the land was occupied. “How this all happened, who is responsible,” asked CJP.

In Gujjar and Orangi nullahs encroachment case, the Supreme Court ordered the Karachi Municipal Corporation (KMC) to bulldoze every illegal structure in the sprawling swathes of the city, rejecting the plea to halt the ongoing anti-encroachment operation.

Meanwhile, SC resumed hearing on Gujjar Nullah anti-encroachment in Karachi registry on Wednesday after a gap of one day and asked the administrator of KMC to apprise the court regarding updates of the anti-encroachment operation in Gujjar Nullah. He said the KMC was given two days to clear the encroachments from that area.

The KMC administrator told the court that anti-encroachment drive had been started in Gujjar Nullah and Pavilion End Club. He said that the clean-up operation to remove encroachments from Allahdin and other areas was also going on. He said there were lots of encroachments which could not be removed in just two days’ time. He asked for more time to bring down the illegal structures.

The attorney general pleaded the court to halt bulldozing of illegal houses built on land given on lease till the government provided the residents with some substitute arrangement.

Court, however did not accept his plea and ordered the KMC to continue with the anti-encroachment drive.

Chief Justice Gulzar remarked that all these encroachments were allowed by the government authorities themselves. ‘Every structure that is illegal, will be brought down,’ he said adding that it was just the beginning. He said every person who was responsible for illegally allotting or leasing public land would be apprehended.

The KMC administrator said that his department was facing shortage of funds and the task before it was gigantic.

Upon this, CJP remarked that the KMC had been made hollow and asked who was responsible for the destruction of the department. He said the KMC used to be the self-sufficient in generating the revenues. But now, no worker of KMC seems to be doing anything, he added.

The chief justice asked the administrator to remove 80 percent staff of the KMC, as the department was overstaffed.

He asked the KMC administrator, had its department rehabilitate the fields of Kashmir Road, which was one of the most beautiful roads of the country.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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