Sindh govt drafts ordinance to regularise illegal buildings

Provincial govt aims to facilitate citizens struck by SC's decision to demolish Karachi's Nasla Tower, other buildings

Our Correspondent December 01, 2021
Workers use heavy machinery to demolish Nasla Tower on Supre Court orders. PHOTO: Jalal Qureshi/Express


The Sindh government on Wednesday drafted an ordinance aimed at providing relief to the people of the province, days after the Supreme Court ordered "immediate" demolition of Karachi's Nasla Tower and other building allegedly built on encroached land.

The draft has been forwarded to Governor Imran Ismail to regularise illegal housing units in the province.

The Sindh Commission for Regularisation of Construction Ordinance, 2021, will be promulgated by the provincial government, as the Sindh Assembly is not in session. Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, exercising the powers conferred under Article 128 of the Constitution, will issue the ordinance.

According to the ordinance, which will later be converted into law if approved by Ismail, a seven-member commission will be formed which will consider cases of illegal construction for regularisation.

It will be headed by a retired Supreme Court or Sindh High Court judge who will decide on conditions and penalties to regularise unauthorised buildings where demolition is likely to cause human tragedy.

Read more: Sindh asks Supreme Court to allow regularisation of 'illegal' buildings

Members of the commission other than ex-officio members shall be nominated by Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah within 15 days after the promulgation, read the draft, a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune.

The commission will also act against officers who did not act against the illegal occupation of land and unauthorised construction.

Speaking to the media earlier in the day, Karachi Administrator Barrister Murtaza Wahab said that the proposed legislation is the same as the one introduced in Punjab earlier to regularise illegal buildings with one additional paragraph saying that the anti-encroachment drive should be stopped after the enforcement of the law until the commission decides on the matter.

Wahab hoped that the governor will verify the ordinance and follow the chief minister and Sindh cabinet's advice and approve it so that it is made a law.

Also read: Pace of demolition of Nasla Tower accelerated

Saying that the ordinance aimed at providing people with relief at a difficult time, he said that the ordinance was being introduced in the larger interest of the people.

The administrator expressed hope that the opposition in Sindh would not resist the legislation as it was being introduced for the benefit of the people.

On Monday, Sindh Information Minister Saeed Ghani had urged the top court to let the provincial government regularise buildings made in violation of rules and regulations as it affected lives of the huge number of people.

Ghani said that violations of the rules happen during the construction of projects like Nasla Tower and such buildings have been regularised in Islamabad.

"[Prime Minister] Imran Khan's residence in Bani Gala [in Islamabad] and Bahria Town [in Karachi] were regularised by imposing fines... why there are different standards for ordinary citizens," he questioned.

The provincial minister alleged that Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) was involved in illegal constructions in Sindh but the provincial government should be allowed to regularise them as it affected millions of people. "Steps such as demolishing buildings like Nasla Tower would render thousands jobless," he added.

He urged the court to form a commission to regularise such projects.

In October, the residents of Nasla Tower were issued notice by the assistant commissioner of the District East to evacuate the building in compliance with the SC orders.

The apex court had ordered the demolition of Nasla Tower in June and upheld the decision in a review petition filed in September.


Imran Sheikh | 1 month ago | Reply

Bravo Completely in keeping with the best traditions of Sind government under PPPP. Now further benefit to the people is expected in the shape of a law regularising bribery and corruption effective from the time BB first came to power.

Rahila Aqil | 1 month ago | Reply

Faith in our System with improve if the system has Faith in Law Do not Dilute the Faith. Strengthen the Law.

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