SC holds SBCA responsible for Karachi’s mess

The Supreme Court issued its written order in the Karachi encroachment case it heard on February 6.

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The court expressed its anger at the Sindh Building Control Authority for “causing serious damage” to Karachi in the 40-page order.

The order said: the SBCA is an authority, which has become totally superfluous; rather, it has itself become a cause of serious damage to the city for the personal gains of its own employees.

“Mushroom growth of illegal and unlawful constructions, which should not at all have been allowed, are being allowed and it appears that from top to bottom the whole institutions seems to have compromised its position and has made a total disaster of Karachi,” the court said.

“There are thousands of buildings in Karachi which, by their very look, show that they have been constructed illegally and in violation of building laws and it appears that such has been facilitated by SBCA’s officials who indulge in bribery,” it said. The police and other government officials also give “protection to such activities”.

The SBCA DG appears to be a “rubber stamp for the employees of [the] SBCA and other government officials”, it said.

Following the court orders on February 6, the DG was removed from his post and the additional charge was given to the Sindh chief secretary.

The chief secretary has given two weeks to provide details of all approvals granted by the SBCA for buildings to construct ground plus two floors in the city in the last 10 years.

On KCR

The court said that the Railways secretary said that the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council took the decision to hand over the operations of the Karachi Circular Railway and local trains to the Sindh government.

He has been given till February 21 to show a copy of the orders.

On Green Line project

The court said that the government should launch the Green Line Bus project by March 2021.

On Com-3

The owner of Com 3 a building near Boat Basin, Clifton, has been issued notices to appear at the next hearing.

He has been asked to bring all records pertaining to ownership of the land and approval of the building plan as apparently the land is an amenity plot and part of Benazir Park.

On Sharae Quaideen

The court has ordered the commissioner to ensure that Sharae Quaideeen and its three islands are cleared from all sorts of encroachments and occupations.

There is “no greenery or beauty on this road and all that can be seen is dust in the middle and both sides of the roads, and car dealers and car repairers have made it a parking space for their cars”, it added.

The court noted that the SBCA DG said that the building on the corner of Block A of SMCHS, where Sharae Faisal and Sharae Quaideen meet, was given the authority’s approval.

“It was pointed out that this plot originally did not exist on the map of SMCHA Block A, rather it appears to have been carved out from the service road amenity land,” the order said. “In doing so not only the SMCHS exceeded its power but also the SBCA and all other authorities.”

The court ordered that the denters, painters and car repairers with shops in Khudad Colony should be “reallocated to an appropriate place”.

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