KARACHI: Following the Supreme Court's (SC) orders, the Karachi Development Authority (KDA) has started a drive to reclaim illegally occupied government land that is being used for commercial projects, such as marriage halls. However, restraint is being observed in clearing structures constructed on illegally occupied amenity plots.
The anti-encroachment cell of KDA has demolished 73 marriage halls so far. However, leniency was shown towards marriage halls belonging to influential people. Sources told Express News that a marriage hall located at NIPA Chowrangi demolished earlier was illegally converted into an educational institute. Its land is reportedly an amenity plot but due to the influence of the occupants, KDA has shown restraint in demolishing it. The plot was allotted for commercial purpose by some senior officials of the KDA.
SC gives two months to clear 35,000 amenity spaces
Another amenity plot, located at Gulshan Chowrangi, has been turned into a marriage hall and a private school. However, no action has been taken against the occupiers.
Sources told Express News that KDA authorities are not taking action against all encroached structures. Action has not been taken against land occupied in several blocks of Gulistan-e-Jauhar, where amenity plots reserved for parks and playgrounds have been converted into marriage halls. These plots are reportedly being used by influential people, which is why KDA authorities are refraining from taking any action.
Several other marriage halls in North Karachi and Surjani Town have been constructed on government land but cannot be demolished due to the influence of the land mafia.
SC gives two days to clear amenity plots in Karachi
Leniency is also being shown in the way the structures are being demolished. A marriage hall located at 4K Chowrangi was only partially dismantled, while only the wall of another hall located at Powerhouse Chowrangi was bulldozed.
KDA has either spared or partially dismantled these halls as they belong to people of considerable influence. This has given a clean chit to occupants to resume commercial activities once the operation is over.
The operation parameters of KDA also seems to be ignoring a vast number of amenity plots in Korangi where unapproved lands have been converted into marriage halls, gymnasiums and private educational institutes.
KDA jumps into action following court order
"KDA's drive is to hoodwink the SC," sources within KDA claimed, adding that if an impartial operation is undertaken, extremely valuable land can be recovered.
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