KARACHI, Dec 7: Sindh governor Dr Ishratul Ibad has taken notice of resumption of illegal construction activities near the mausoleum of the Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, and has directed that violation of rules be immediately stopped.

The governor’s secretariat has issued a letter, pointing towards the “construction of highrise buildings within a radius of six furlongs around the Quaid’s Mausoleum”, and has asked the Sindh chief secretary and the city Nazim to help maintain the sanctity of the mausoleum.

Sources said that the governor issued these directives when federal minister and QMMB chief Tahir Iqbal sought an action.

The relevant law prohibits construction of buildings higher than the mazar’s podium level — 91 feet above sea-level — in a radius of six furlongs (1.2km).

The state minister for environment wrote at least two letters to the governor on the subject, urging him to take necessary steps and direct the agencies concerned to stop the violations.

“Parameters to preserve the sanctity of the mausoleum of the Father of the Nation were established long time ago after thorough studies conducted by the Quaid-i-Azam Mazar Management Board, the Special Senate Committee and the Government of Sindh”, he said, adding during recent past, illegal construction work on plot No MC 4 and MC 7 on M. A. Jinnah Road and JM 73, Muslimabad, Jamshed Quarters, in the restricted area around the Quaid’s Mazar continues unabated in violation of existing rules, regulations and laws of the land.

“The Karachi Building Control Authority is apparently unable to take an action against the builders of these illegal constructions.”

The minister said that “the Quaid-i-Azam Mazar Management Board, under my chairmanship, discussed the matter in detail. The QMMB expressed deep concern about the continued inability of KBCA to enforce law.

“The QMMB also passed a unanimous resolution reiterating the enforcement of previous resolutions regarding illegal construction of buildings in the restricted zone around the Mazar and strongly urged that these be demolished immediately.

In another letter to the governor regarding the issue the minister has said that, “In Civil Appeal No 140/2003, the Court of District Judge, Karachi East, had restrained the builder of the Midtown Shopping Mall (Plot Nos: MC-4 and MC-7), M. A. Jinnah Road, Karachi, from further constructions, creating any third party interest in the property by way of booking, allotment or sale of shops / flats without an approved plan.

“All the parties were directed to maintain status quo, which is still operative. Surprisingly, in flagrant violation of court orders, the management of the illegally constructed shopping plaza has started sale of flats and shops by issuing advertisements in the newspapers.

“Since the matter is sensitive, and involves the sanctity of the Mazar of Quaid-i-Azam, I seek your kind intervention so that the authorities concerned are issued instructions to get the sale and booking of the shopping plaza stopped forthwith.

“If any NOC has been issued by the Karachi Building Control Authority, it should be withdrawn,” Minister said.

Responding to Dawn queries, the Resident Engineer at the Quaid’s Mazar, Mohammad Arif, said that the governor has issued the directives to the concerned authorities to stop violations.

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