Encroachers on amenity plots should be given 45 days' notice prior to eviction: CJP

Published December 12, 2018
Anti-encroachment drive to continue, say authorities. — File photo
Anti-encroachment drive to continue, say authorities. — File photo

Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on Wednesday, while resuming hearing of a case pertaining to the removal of encroachments in Karachi, said that authorities should issue eviction notices to residents with houses built on amenity plots 45 days prior to operations.

In yesterday's hearing, the chief justice had forbidden arbitrary demolition of houses during the ongoing city-wide drive and ordered the federal, provincial and city governments to submit reports regarding the relocation of people whose businesses and homes had been demolished in the past 37 days.

A joint framework on relocation of affectees was also submitted in court today, which listed locations where the government plans to relocate the shops and stalls that were demolished during the drive. The report said that so far, authorities had demolished more than 3,000 shops.

The proposed locations include the Parking Plaza in Lines area, Frere Market, Vegetable section at Ranchore Line, an empty plot opposite Parking Plaza in Lines area, and others.

The report had suggested that residents of houses that built on amenity plots be issued an eviction notice 15 days before the anti-encroachment operation in those areas is held, so that they can make alternative arrangements.

However, the chief justice said that authorities should give those who are going to be evicted at least 45 days to move.

Mayor of Karachi Waseem Akhtar said that so far, the authorities have relocated about 515 shops and stalls in different parts of the metropolitan.

According to the report, footpaths, public parks, nullahs and amenity plots have been cleared in the following areas:

  • Empress Market
  • Umar Farooqi Market
  • Mairaj Market
  • Jahangir Park Market
  • Ali Dina Water Course Road Market
  • Jinnah Market
  • 03 shops Regal Chowk
  • 02 shops Akbar Road Market
  • Shops in Nanakwara Market
  • Khori Garden

The authorities will continue the operation in the Zoological Garden Market and Lea Market where encroachments were built under the mayor's supervision, the report said.

The KMC, in a separate request submitted to the court, said that the body required Rs200 million in order to meet the cost of the ongoing operation and sought out the Sindh government for the grant. KMC also suggested that the provincial government ask the Centre's assistance to "meet the shortfall" of money.

The letter said that KMC did not have the funds required for lifting of debris following the demolition of encroachments from Empress Market and surrounding areas and the rehabilitation of roads and repair of footpaths and other structures affected by the drive.

However, the court affixed the responsibility for providing the funding on the Sindh Government.

'Owais Tappi has been abroad for 3 years'

The chief justice, who had summoned Owais Muzaffar 'Tappi' ─ an associate of former president Asif Zardari accused of illegal occupation of several plots in Shah Latif Town by its residents, was told by the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) South Javed Odho today that Tappi has been abroad for the last three years.

DIG Odho told the bench that Tappi's mother had been sent a notice in accordance with Supreme Court orders.

He added that the a letter had also been sent to the Federal Investigation Agency asking for its help in the matter.

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