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SC orders demolition of all illegal buildings in Karachi


News Desk |

The Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA), upon the directives of the Supreme Court, has decided to take action against residential apartments and houses being used for commercial activities across the city, local press reported. This will be the second leg of the extensive anti-encroachment operations in Karachi, the former of which saw the complete cleanup of areas in Saddar and other commercial hubs.

According to SBCA, the permission letters/NOCs issued for conversion of residential place into a commercial one between 2004 and 2019 have been canceled. The occupants of the buildings have been served a notice to vacate the buildings in a week before they are demolished by the authorities. The building authority teams have also given an advertisement in newspapers about buildings built in contravention of SBCA laws. Speaking to the press in protest to the action, Saeed Ghani, provincial minister, said that he would rather resign than demolish peoples’ homes.

Members of the Karachi Marriage Halls Association staged a protest outside SCBA’s office located in Civic Centre today after the received the notices. “We were given a three days’ notice.

The NOCs issued for wedding halls, hotels, hospitals, schools, petrol stations, CNG stations, housing societies and other structures built on residential lands have also been revoked. More than 60 slums including Hijrat Colony and Neelam Colony will also come under the sweep.

The Supreme Court on Thursday, January 24th, directed the Sindh government to furnish a comprehensive plan within two weeks elucidating measures to restore Karachi to its original shape.

Justice Gulzar Ahmed of the apex court said that at least 500 buildings in Karachi are to be demolished by the authorities. “All constructions on Malir River require to be brought down,” he said. The Supreme Court also ordered to demolish all marriage halls situated along three major arteries of the city falling within the remits of Cantonment Board.

Read more: Encroachment free Empress Market: The Naya Karachi of Naya Pakistan

Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Farooq Sattar on Saturday, 26th January alleged Karachi mayor Waseem Akhtar of vandalism in the metropolis. While talking to media persons, Sattar complained that if Bani Gala land can be regularized then why not other buildings.

Sattar said, “10,000 houses and shops have been razed and now the court has given an order that everything should be demolished.” He added, “I welcome Saeed Ghani’s statement regarding his resignation than have buildings be demolished. We are waiting for Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and Waseem Akhtar to say the same.”

The Karachi Marriage Halls Association has announced that wedding halls across the metropolis will be closed from Sunday, January 27 in light of notices issued SCBA on Supreme Court orders.

Read more: MQM: Existential Crisis or Cross Roads into the Unknown?

Members of the Karachi Marriage Halls Association staged a protest outside SCBA’s office located in Civic Centre today after the received the notices. “We were given a three days’ notice. Where are we supposed to work?” the protesters asked. Further, president of the Karachi Marriage Halls Association said they will close down wedding halls from Sunday.