KARACHI: The Supreme Court has summoned Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah immediately in the Orangi and Gujjar nullahs eviction cases to ask about why court orders did not take seriously.
The Supreme Court came down on the Sindh government Monday morning over delays in the compensation to the people who lost their homes through forced evictions at the Orangi and Gujjar nullahs.
SC Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed in Karachi this week and will be hearing several important cases regarding illegal and unauthorised constructions, encroachments on amenity plots, conversion of residential and amenity land into commercial spaces in the provincial metropolis.
During the hearing, Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed asked the Sindh attorney general for updates on compensation to be provided to over 6,000 affectees. The court asked what has been the progress so far and what were the ground realities.
The attorney general, however, could not satisfy the court. "Summon Sindh CM immediately, we will ask from him if they are trying to make fun of the court," the chief justice said.
Earlier this year, the SC released a written order in the anti-encroachment case and ordered the authorities to compensate the people whose leased houses have been demolished in the drive along Orangi and Gujjar nullahs.
At a hearing on September 23, the top court came down on the Sindh government over delays in the compensation for the people who lost their homes through forced evictions at the Orangi and Gujjar nullahs. "Shame on you [Sindh government]," Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed said.
The court instructed Sindh CM Murad Ali Shah to resettle the victims within a year and summoned a report on it, adding that "resettling the affectees is the state's responsibility and we have to find a way to do that."
Gujjar and Orangi nullahs are two of the three storm water drains that are being widened to ensure a smooth flow of rainwater. Mehmoodabad is the other one.
After the court order, On October 5, the Sindh CM had announced in a provincial cabinet meeting that the victims of Karachi's Orangi and Gujjar nullahs will be paid Rs15,000 every month for two years.
It was agreed that the evacuees will be given residential units in the Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme as well.
Sindh Local Government Minister Nasir Hussain Shah briefed in the meeting that 344 houses near the Gujjar nullah and 60 houses and six factories near the Orangi nullah have been demolished in the encroachment drive so far. "We will take an Rs300,000 subsidy from the federal government and provide 30,000 residential units to the victims," Shah revealed, adding the land for the houses would be provided by the Sindh government.