KARACHI: Expressing extreme annoyance with the provincial aut­­­horities for their failure to complete work on the Lyari Expressway, the Sindh High Court on Tuesday warned that strict action would be taken against the relevant officials if they failed to complete work on the project by Dec 21.

A division bench was hearing a constitutional petition seeking compensatory funds for the families displaced due to work on the mega project.

The court warned that in case of non-implementation, it would take action against the individual/department concerned.

The bench ordered that the project be open to the public by Jan 1, 2018.

The court noted that the project which was estimated to be completed in 2003 for Rs3 billion was now costing around Rs23bn.

One of the bench members remarked that it was announced that the chief minister would inaugurate the project in August, but nothing happened.

He said if the project was not completed expeditiously, the matter might be referred to the National Account­ability Bureau to investigate the high cost of the project.

Advocate Shaukat Shaikh, representing the petitioners, told the judges that despite multibillion-rupee expenditure in the last 15 years, Lyari Expressway was yet to be completed as the civic administration once again claimed that the mega project would be completed by the end of the year.

He said the cost of the project might have been met if it had been completed on time.

The counsel said that people’s properties were acquired for the project, but they were not duly compensated and were facing a great deal of difficulty.

He asked the court to direct the respondent authorities to expedite the completion work on the project and immediately pay compensation to the affected people.

Published in Dawn, December 6th, 2017

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