The Sindh High Court has ordered the payment of compensation to more than 200 families displaced by the construction of the Lyari Expressway.
The affected families had filed the petition, submitting that they have been running from pillar to post since 2010, but the money has not been disbursed by the officials concerned on one pretext or another despite the sanctioning of compensation funds.
On Wednesday, Justices Maqbool Baqar and Nadeem Akhtar heard the petitioners counsel, who submitted that the families were rendered homeless and were hence facing hardships. The now-defunct City District Government Karachi (CDGK) was cited as the respondent. Defending the authorities’ failure to pay, the city administration’s counsel raised a technical issue, saying that the petitioners had made the CDGK respondent but after the expiry of Sindh Local Government Ordinance 2001, the local government body has ceased to exist. He told the court that for the Lyari Expressway the government has allocated another Rs435 million, which includes the money to be paid to the displaced people. The law officer added that the families’ claim could only be entertained after they cite the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) as the respondent in the petition.
However, the court rejected the stance taken by the official counsel and ordered that all the departments concerned with the project coordinate and ensure that the compensation amount is paid to the petitioners within three weeks. The estimated cost of the Lyari Expressway project has gone up manifolds due to delays on different counts, primarily encroachments and shortage of funds.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2012.
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