- Instructs Sindh CM Murad Ali Shah to submit a report in two weeks
Karachi: The Supreme Court (SC) has directed the Sindh government to resettle Orangi and Gujjar nullah affectees within a year, Aaj News reported on Wednesday.
Expressing annoyance over the delay in rehabilitating the affectees, Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed stated that it is the responsibility of the provincial government to provide alternate housing facilities to the affected people.
He said that the Sindh government says it lacks funds which is not a satisfactory response.
The advocate general (AG) told the court that the government has finalised 250 acres of land and more than 6,500 houses will be built on it. “The construction will begin once we get Rs10 billion from the Bahria Town funds,” he stated.
“What do you mean. Why does the government link everything with the Bahria funds,” the CJP asked.
The AG said that the Sindh government is facing financial constraints and the province has a right over the money.
The court said that the Sindh government has already recovered its money and the decision regarding these funds will be taken when a commission is formed. "The government is doing everything but it does not have money to construct houses for the poor," Justice Gulzar remarked.
"If you don’t have money, take these affectees to the chief minister and governor houses or the assembly building. Go to World Bank and IMF for money. You do that for other things too right?”
The attorney-general replied that the government borrows money for development projects that are already underway.
The top court said that action is never taken against officers involved in illegal allotment of land. “Your priorities are something else and compensation for the nullah evacuees isn’t one of them. You have a budget of trillions of rupees but you don’t have money for 6,000 people?”
The chief justice instructed Sindh CM Murad Ali Shah to resettle the victims within a year and summoned a report on it in two weeks.
Earlier, the SC asked the Sindh government about the plan to resettle the affectees.
The Attorney General told the court that if the demolition drive continues along Gujjar and Orangi nullahs, at least 40,000 people would be displaced.
He said that leased housing units should not be demolished unless an alternate arrangement is made for the affectees.
On June 15, the SC issued a written order in the case, directing the authorities to compensate the affectees of Gujjar and Orangi Nullahs.
The apex court directed the authorities to complete the expansion work of the nullahs and annulled all stay orders issued against it from tribunals and Sindh High Court.
The NDMA and Sindh government should continue their work, the court directed while further ordering the authorities to compensate the affectees as per law.