KARACHI: Karachi has virtually become a slum city, because, local bureaucracy itself is patronizing these encroachments and police regularly collect bribery from their dwellers, said Pasban Democratic Party PDP Chairman Altaf Shakoor here Sunday.
He said majority of criminals in Karachi live in these slums and local police provide them protection by not taking action to remove these encroachments despite repeated court orders.
He said previous day also the Sindh High Court judge Justice Nadeem Akhtar had ordered the authorities concerned including Karachi commissioner to remove encroachments along the arteries of the megacity, but it seems difficult that the police and district administration would take any serious action.
He said in past also the SHC had ordered to remove encroachments, especially from Superhighway Suhrab Goth area but sadly this locality still is full of encroachments as other neighbourhoods of Karachi.
He said these encroachments are also selling points of drugs in the port city and local police not only fully knew this but also patronise them because the illegal drug trade in Karachi run with the nexus of corrupt police and bureaucracy.
He said certain political parties mostly resist when action is taken against illegal slums, saying that their dwellers are their voters. He said this is seen in case of operation against illegal structures in Pakistan Quarters.
He not only the Pakistan Quarters but also Jamshed Quarters and FC Area are teemed with illegal settlements, despite being government lands meant for residence of government employees. He said this is simply a failure of our government, courts and law enforcement agencies that illegal practices including encroachments are going on with a complete impunity.
Altaf Shakoor said that if the government wants not to make the dwellers of slums homeless it could establish legal settlements for them and nobody would have any objection, but ignoring the issue of illegal encroachments in Karachi is tantamount to breaking of the writ of government the government itself.
He said if the government is serious it could use the artificial intelligence technology to detect and mark illegal encroachments in the megacity and sack relevant SHOs and deputy commissioners in case these slums are not removed within a certain time limit.
He said FIRs should be lodged against the land mafia involved in establishing and protecting these illegal slums. He said these people are not hidden from the local police but the police for the reasons known by it is hesitant to take action against them.
He said street crime; drug peddling and traffic jams in the megacity could not be stopped till taking serious and sustainable actions against the illegal encroachments. For this purpose the SHC must establish its writ for making the commissioner and police chief of Karachi personally responsible in this regard. He said Karachi could be made a better city if all stakeholders extend their cooperation to this cause.