KARACHI: A provincial government move to create a Sindh-wide master plan authority has earned the ire of the opposition Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan, which sees it as another attempt of the Pakistan Peoples Party to snatch the functions of the city administration.
The Sindh government had established a ‘Sindh Master Plan Authority’ under the local government, housing and town planning department.
A notification issued on Feb 18 said: “In pursuance of orders of the Supreme Court of Pakistan dated Jan 22, 2019 and decision of the Sindh cabinet in its meeting held on Jan 22, 2020, the Master Planning Department under Local Government and Housing Town Planning Department is hereby separated from the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA).”
Previously, the master plan department was a part of the Karachi Development Authority (KDA) and then the city district government.
In Feb 2011, the Sindh government had renamed the Karachi Building Control Authority (KBCA) as the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) and extended its jurisdiction to the entire province. Later, the government placed the master plan department under the SBCA.
The master plan department had prepared various development plans for the metropolis and it also deals with cases pertaining to change of land use.
On Tuesday, members of the Sindh Assembly belonging to the MQM-P strongly criticised the provincial government’s decision and said that instead of empowering the local government, the PPP-led Sindh government was continuously snatching powers of the city administration.
“The master plan department had always been under the KDA but just to mint money it was placed under the SBCA as part of a conspiracy and now it is being made a rubber stamp by creating a separate authority,” said an MQM-P statement.
Published in Dawn, February 26th, 2020