THERE is a vast stretch of land on the other side of the Karachi Fish Harbour which was historically used for building and repairing boats, and had a fuelling station as well. Owing to a lack of infrastructure, the part across the harbour was called ‘kala pani’.
Before one entered this katcha kala pani, a small gate called ‘chota gate’ led to what is now called Machher Colony. Many years ago a plot there was allocated for setting up a seafood processing plant.
Some more plots were also secretly allotted to other favourites of fishery authorities for peanuts. Later on some rogue elements encroached upon and grabbed the precious land there.
All this went through under the very nose of fishery authorities so much so that later the Karachi Fish Harbour Authority allotted, through corruption and political bases, almost the entire chunk of this highly valuable land to undeserving cronies and favourites, who hardly belong to the fisheries trade,.
No land was publicly sold for a fair value. Now the KFHA, in league with its absentee fisher allottees, is pitched against the illegal land mafia which is unwilling to surrender possession of the land.
The best solution to resolve the racket is for the KFHA to cancel all previous allotments and sell them through public auction. At the same time, a major clean-up action should be taken to throw out illegal occupants, encroachers and land grabbers from this land. Only this will pave the way for sale price of the land going into the national exchequer.
M. BUTT Karachi