JAN 25TH, 2019
Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday imposed ban on use of cantonment lands for commercial purposes and ordered the removal of commercial activities from the lands, meant for cantonment purposes. SC also directed Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah to restore the city as per its original master plan by holding a provincial cabinet meeting to take a decision in this regard and submit a report within two weeks.
At Karachi Registry, a two-member bench of SC comprising Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah issued these directives while hearing a case related to use of residential land for commercial purposes and illegal allotment of land rejected the report of Sindh Government about the restoration of city to its old shape. Chief Secretary Sindh Mumtaz Ali Shah, Commissioner Karachi Iftikhar Shilwani and officials of various government departments were present during the proceedings.
Justice Gulzar Ahmed remarked, “This report is of no use” and directed Advocate General Sindh to take back this report. “If we issued the orders for taking back this report, your entire government would be sent reeling,” Justice Gulzar remarked.
He asked Advocate General Sindh to refrain from singing lullabies. “Do you know what the singing lullabies are meant for? It means just listen to lullabies and go to sleep,” Justice Gulzar stated.
The judges, he added, are not sitting here to listen to these “bedtime stories” and stated that Sindh Government is not able to do anything substantive despite having a capable bureaucrat like Syed Mumtaz Ali Shah as the chief secretary of province.
According to written order of SC, the bench directed Director Lands, Cantonment Board Karachi along with Cantonment Executive Officers to appear in next hearing and submit reports to the court about the removal of all sort of commercial activities from the cantonment lands particularly Global Marquees on Emergency Military Medical Supplies Land for Sindh and Balochistan.
Besides, adjacent marquees, marriage halls, grand convention hall shall also be removed, it added. The Court ordered that all cantonment lands meant for cantonment purposes are to be used only for cantonment purposes and not for any other use and their use shall be restored. A report in this regard shall be made available to this court on the next date.
Director General KDA told the court that Aziz Bhatti Park has been cleared from all encroachments from where Customs Club, Nursery and Softina Marriage Hall have been removed and whole land of park has been made available and it is being developed as a model park of the city of Karachi for recreation of the residents of Karachi.
On the land of old Sabzi Mandi a marriage hall has been constructed by military people, which the court ordered to be removed and Askari Park shall be restored and it is ensured that proper park on the whole land of old Sabzi Mandi is available for the public.
Justice Gulzar said that all constructions in the riverbed of Malir River should be demolished after Advocate General Sindh told the court that that there is no water in the river. Court sought the report in two weeks in this regard.
Managing Director KW&SB submitted a report in SC, stating that the order of this Court dated 22.01.2019 has been complied with to the extent that Marriage Hall and KW&SB Officers Club constructed on KW&SB Land at Shahrah-e-Faisal have been demolished.
Managing Director KW&SB stated that work for making a public park on this land will be started immediately and KW&SB is going to achieve it within a period of two months. Advocate General Sindh stated that he is going to consult with all relevant authorities of the government of Sindh in coordination with KDA, KMC and Cantonment Boards of Karachi so also other agencies like KPT, CAA, PIA, Evacuee Trust, for bringing the city of Karachi to its glory which will be best suited for the people and residents.
He will consult with all the top city planners as to how the existing buildings which may have to be removed from the city, will be removed, the people who are dislocated and displaced by such plans are rehabilitated.
The bench also directed to issue notices to Chairman KPT, Chairman PIA, Chairman Karachi Electric, State Life Insurance Corporation, Commissioner KMC, Airport Security Force (ASF), DG CAA for next date by adjourning the hearing of the case for two weeks.