Karachi (Web Desk): Sindh Minister for Local Government Syed Nasir Hussain Shah on Saturday said that the provincial government will implement Supreme Court's (SC) orders regarding demolition of illegal buildings in Karachi.
Talking to newsmen, the minister said that the orders issued by the SC will be implemented wholeheartedly.
Nasir Shah said that buildings and structures without any occupants will be targeted in the first phase. He said that the SC order on encroachments will make things easier for the government.
The minister said that stay orders given by the court had sometimes acted as an obstacle to our work. He added the government as a matter of "human sympathy" will provide the residents with alternative housing as part of a resettlement programme for the people who are currently living in the illegal buildings.
The minister said that Sindh Building Control Authority had set up a special cell for complaints related to the matter. "There are more than 900 illegal encroachments in the city," he said.
Nasir Shah said that the Sindh government has regularised many goths and villages where people have historically been living. "We never want to render anyone homeless but we also cannot allow anyone to occupy someone else's property," he added.
Responding to a question about the CJP's direction to restore the past glory of Karachi, Shah said while he could not comment on the top judge's remark, "Clearly, if you go back many years, the population of this city was much lower and there is a big difference between the conditions of that time and the present."
The minister expressed the hope that the CJP will also take action against "illegal immigrants" and other people from abroad living illegally in the country.
On February 7, the SC directed the federal authorities to take action against unauthorised constructions and encroachments in Karachi’s PNT Colony, Delhi Colony and Punjab Colony and asked the Sindh government to carry out planned development work at Nehr-i-Khayyam in Clifton.
While hearing a case on illegal constructions and encroachments at the apex court’s Karachi registry, a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed and comprising Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, grilled cantonment officials, persistently questioning "who gave the orders for constructing such tall buildings in colonies".
"Who said Delhi Colony is a residential area? Clearly you have not gone to the place in question. You cannot satisfy us by speaking in English." remarked Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed during the proceedings.
The CJP had earlier passed several orders against unauthorised and illegal constructions, encroachments on amenity plots, parks and other public spaces, commercial activities on cantonment lands, conversion of residential and amenity plots into commercial spaces and to restore the past glory of the provincial metropolis.