Sindh High Court wants DHA, CBC audits on water

SHC also orders action against Cantonment Board Clifton officers over illegal construction


Our Correspondent December 01, 2021
PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

KARACHI:

The Sindh High Court has sought a five-year audit report from the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) and Cantonment Board Clifton (CBC) on a petition against the lack of water available to residents of DHA.

A two-member bench of Justice Zafar Ahmed Rajput and Justice Muhammad Faisal Kamal Alam heard the petition filed by DHA residents against the lack of water.

Counsels for the DHA and CBC appeared in court. The petitioners' counsel argued that earlier, water was being supplied by tankers, but even that supply has dried up. "The DHA's claim regarding water supply is not correct," the counsel argued.

Justice Alam, while questioning the DHA's counsel, asked whether the authority conducted annual audits. "Where are the audit reports?"

Also read: DHA, CBC directed to submit plan for rainwater drainage

The court also ordered DHA and CBC to submit a five-year audit report and sought a comprehensive response on water supply within two weeks.

The residents of DHA pay Rs12,000 to Rs18,000 as water tax, however, the supply of water in pipelines is rare, while the DHA water supply via tankers remains unable to meet the demand of locals now sprawling over eight phases.

CAA land case

Also, the SHC directed the Civil Aviation Authority to file a written reply in a land-related case.

During the hearing of a petition related to CAA land, a copy of the Supreme Court verdict regarding the aviation authority was presented. The CAA counsel argued that the apex court had ordered the removal of occupation from all his client's lands.

"Four CAA officers have been sent to jail. The controversy ended after the top court's decision," the counsel contended. "It was proved that CAA officers had the land occupied illegally by making fake entries," the counsel upheld.

The court directed the CAA to submit a written reply. The court will review the remarks at the next hearing of the petition.

Illegal construction

In a case related to the illegal construction of a six-storey building on a 66-yard plot in Delhi Colony, the Sindh High Court ordered action against CBC officers CBC and demolition of the unlawful part of the structure within four weeks.

The court also directed that the cases against retired CBC employees and officers be sent to the National Accountability Bureau.

In its remarks, the SHC said it would continue with the contempt proceedings against the director military land in case the decision was not adhered to.

A two-judge bench, comprising Justice Zafar Ahmed Rajput and Justice Muhammad Faisal Kamal Alam, heard the petition against the illegal construction, filed by a citizen namely Adnan.

The court asked the CBC counsel what action was taken against the delinquent officers. The CBC counsel informed the court that the case was transferred to the director military land. "A case related to military land is pending in the Supreme Court these days," the counsel maintained.

Also read: 

DHA, CBC served notices in encroachment case

Expressing its anger, the bench remarked that directions had been issued to take action against delinquent CBC officers a month ago. The CBC counsel contended that the department would frame a charge sheet against those responsible and this would take some time.

"Which of your officers have been held responsible?" asked Justice Alam. The CBC counsel replied that some of the employees had retired.

Justice Alam said that cases against the retired employees should be sent to NAB. "Take action against those who are currently in service and demolish the building," remarked Justice Alam.

The court ordered to complete the proceedings against the delinquent CBC officers within four weeks. The SHC also directed the registration of a case against those obstructing the anti-encroachment operation.

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