Environmental concerns: Court orders cantonment boards to stop illegal constructions

A number of high-rise buildings have been constructed in the area without getting an approved plan.

Our Correspondent July 22, 2014

KARACHI: A district and sessions court directed the director-generals of the cantonment boards of Clifton and Saddar to take immediate action against unauthorised constructions.

Ahmed Saba, the district and sessions judge in district South, ordered the DGs to give appropriate instructions to the chief executive officers of the boards to take action against the unlawful constructions of several high-rise buildings near Delhi Colony in Clifton.

In a suit for permanent injunction, Mohammad Yaseen Baloch had gone to the court, alleging that Jan Mohammad and three other respondents had occupied a plot in Ahmed Khan Chandio Village near Dehli Colony in Clifton.

Baloch alleged that the respondents, in collusion with the cantonment boards, were engaged in raising construction at the plot without having the approval of the site plan on the disputed plot. On June 24, a senior civil judge had restrained the respondents from carrying out construction work and to maintain status-quo till obtaining the approved plan from the relevant authority.

On Tuesday, the judge also ordered to take disciplinary action against the officials of the cantonment boards who were failing short in what duty required of them.

During the arguments, it emerged that a number of high-rise buildings have been constructed without getting an approved plan near Delhi Colony in Clifton. The court ruled that the responsibility of controlling such affairs lay with the cantonment boards.

While turning down an appeal against a restraining order, the court said that the illegal construction at the site was causing losses in revenue as well as becoming a hindrance in smooth functioning. The court also observed that the registration of sub-lease in favour of purchasers of flats and the builders was another issue to be addressed.

In the order, the judge stated that the right of privacy and easement of the people residing in the surrounding areas should be the primary elements while approving a layout plan. They should be approved after calling objections from the public, it added.

The order also stated that facilities, such as electricity, water, drainage system, should be taken into consideration while approving a plan.

In the absence of an approved plan, the court said that no responsibility could be fixed upon any person if any mishap took place during the course of construction.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 23rd, 2014.

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