KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Wednesday directed the deputy commissioners of Malir and Korangi districts to take action against encroachments on government land and cultivation of vegetables using sewage.
A two-judge bench headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar also directed the lawyer for two private respondents to file comments along with relevant documents after he claimed that some land was allotted by the government on 30-year lease to private persons.
In the last hearing, the bench had summoned both the DCs along with progress reports after it was informed that vegetables and grass were being cultivated on around 290 acres of government land in the Malir River of Deh Sharabi, Taluka Ibrahim Haideri.
At the outset, both the DCs turned up before the bench and submitted their comments.
They stated that some action had already been taken for removal of encroachments from government land on the riverbed and cultivation of vegetable through sewage. However, they sought more time to file further progress reports.
DCs of Malir and Korangi undertake to continue anti-encroachment actions on state land
A lawyer also appeared in court during the proceedings to represent two private respondents and requested time to file comments.
The counsel argued that some land was allotted to his clients by the government on a 30-year lease.
However, both the DCs submitted that the land on the riverbed might not be granted to some individuals.
The bench directed the lawyer to file comments along with relevant documents before the next date of hearing with advance copy to DCs so that they would come prepared on the alleged title documents.
The deputy commissioners undertook to continue their action against encroachments on state land as well as cultivation of vegetables through sewerage water.
The bench directed both the DCs to be in attendance on May 19.
The petitioner moved the SHC stating that vegetables were being grown through sewage and industrial waste in Korangi, Malir, Landhi, Surjani Town and other areas located on the outskirts of the city and these vegetables were not fit for human consumption.
No restrictions imposed during lockdown: NHA
The National Highways Authority (NHA) on Wednesday informed the same bench of the SHC that it had not imposed any restriction during the lookdown period and sought time to file a written statement.
The traffic police, representative of inspector general of police and a focal person of the home department also filed replies on a petition over issues of inter-provincial goods’ transportation.
NHA director (south zone) Abdul Quddus Shaikh informed the bench that they had not imposed any ban during the ongoing lockdown, but requested for time to file a statement in writing.
Rizwan Ashraf, an officer of the National Highways & Motorway Police also made a similar statement and sought time, adding that some shops were open on highways for which he would submit details in his reply.
At this, the petitioners stated that there was a provision for providing some emergency services on highways, but the Frontier Works Organization (FWO) was not taking any action.
The deputy attorney general submitted that he would call the general manager of NHA on May 13 to answer this query.
The petitioners moved the SHC and submitted that during the lockdown imposed through the order of Sindh government, there was no ban on transportation of essential goods to other provinces.
Published in Dawn, May 7th, 2020