KARACHI: An application has been filed in the Sindh High Court (SHC) against the Naya Nazimabad residential scheme near Manghopir that has allegedly been launched despite a report claiming that the area is dangerous.
On Wednesday, the SHC granted an urgent hearing to the application that claimed the site of the residential scheme is a dumping ground for lethal chemicals. Headed by Justice Irfan Saadat Khan, the two-member bench will take up the matter on May 7.
The project, which consists of as many as 4,000 plots, has been jointly launched by business tycoons who own a major cement manufacturing factory.
A citizen, Syed Haroon Ahmed, went to the court and accused the respondents of launching the expensive project on the land, which has been a dumping site for the lethal asbestos chemical. The petitioner had named the Javed Corporation’s chairperson Arif Habib, its chief executive, its directors, including Aqeel Karim Dhedhi, the secretary of the privatisation commission, the Security Exchange Commission of Pakistan, the Sindh Board of Revenue, the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, the Sindh Building Control Authority, the defunct Karachi Development Authority and others as respondents.
Haroon told the judges that Javed Corporation chief and its directors want to establish Naya Nazimabad City in an area of Karachi which is a dangerous site. The federal board of revenue should investigate that people who have bought 4,000 plots and thousands of flats are not harmed by negligence on the part of the government.
He recalled that his brother, Syed Fareed Ahmed, had died while working as a chief maintenance engineer at a private factory from the same type of fiber in 2006. After years of inquiries, it was finally revealed that he died of consuming asbestos.
The petitioner said that the respondents cancelled their initial plan to establish a power plant on the same land and decided to launch this residential scheme. He also recalled that while hearing his petition, the Supreme Court had ordered a commission to conduct a study of the area. The commission found that the population in the surrounding area of Gadap Town is prone to cancer.
He pleaded the court declare that the area is dangerous to human health. He also requested an order for the respondents to refund the money collected from the customers.
On Wednesday, the petition moved a miscellaneous application for the early hearing of his petition, which was filed in September last year. Allowing the request, Justice Irfan Saadat Khan fixed the next hearing for May 7.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 17th, 2014.