KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) issued on Wednesday notices to the local government secretary, the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation administrator, the commissioner and others on a petition seeking contempt proceedings against them for not removing garbage and encroachments from rainwater drains in the city.
Headed by chief justice Faisal Arab, the division bench directed them to submit their replies in by August 7. A civil rights campaigner, Rana Faizul Hasan, had requested to the court to act against the local bodies and the KMC authorities for contempt of court for not complying with the repeated directives issued to them by the court.
He informed the judges that the monsoon season is about to start but the authorities concerned have taken no practical steps to clear at least 17 major rainwater drains of garbage and encroachments. He said that if the drains are not cleared before the start of the monsoon season it could result in a catastrophe.
The petitioner recalled that the court had issued directives to the authorities responsible for cleaning the rainwater drains twice to remove the litter and encroachments but so far nothing has been done.
He claimed that he had personally visited the drains in Godhra Colony, Nazimabad No. 2, Liaquatabad, Gujjar Nala, Moosa Colony, Landhi Kotal Chowrangi, Payala Hotel, Songal Nadi, Metroville-III, Sindh Secretariat, Glass Tower, Drigh Colony, Manzoor Colony, Soldier Bazaar, Golden Town and others, but no work had been done.
Hasan said that the local bodies minister had, in a media statement, asked the land grabbers to vacate the land otherwise the government would vacate them by force. He pleaded to the court to direct the local bodies and KMC authorities to get the drains cleared before the start of the monsoon season. Issuing notices to the authorities concerned, the court directed them to file their comments by August 7.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 16th, 2015.