The city’s top officials have been asked by the Sindh High Court to explain why there is encroachment in public parks and spaces reserved for footpaths.
The action was prompted by a constitutional petition filed by an NGO, al Qanoon Foundation, that brought up a building along Express Way in Korangi and other encroachments in parks. It said that no one was implementing a judgment of the Supreme Court in a petition that was filed by former city nazim Niamatullah Khan.
Justice Maqbool Baqar and Justice Nisar M Sheikh heard Islam Hussain advocate of the NGO, who relied on a number of photographs to show the court how mandatory open spaces have been covered and converted into shops or for other commercial purposes, encroaching upon space meant for footpaths.
He called builders a “mafia” while detailing the extent of the encroachment. The petition names the Karachi Development Authority, Karachi Municipal Corporation, the traffic engineering bureau, the Sindh Building Control Authority and the DIG of Traffic as respondents. The petitioner said that these authorities had to ensure that construction in the city takes place according to the approved plans, that there are no violations of SBCA laws and the smooth flow of traffic is ensured. It is their job to ensure that pedestrians have pavements. But these civic agencies have failed to do their basic work and even the Supreme Court had, in its judgment, ordered the demolition of all buildings or illegal construction from public parks and such places.
On Friday, the bench ordered for notices to be issued to all the officials mentioned in the petition for an unspecified date.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 19th, 2012.
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