All construction activities in Bahria Town Karachi are illegal, SBCA tells SHC

Updated 22 Jul 2020

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"M/s Bahria Town (Pvt) Ltd continued construction of multi-storey buildings/bungalows and development of the project without valid approvals/NOCs from the SBCA and other agencies," the SBCA said. —Bharia Town/File
"M/s Bahria Town (Pvt) Ltd continued construction of multi-storey buildings/bungalows and development of the project without valid approvals/NOCs from the SBCA and other agencies," the SBCA said. —Bharia Town/File

KARACHI: The Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) on Tuesday informed the Sindh High Court that all the construction activities at Bahria Town were unauthorised and illegal and its “Bahria Greens” project was launched without obtaining a sale and advertisement no-objection certificate from the authority.

When a petition filed against Bahria Town’s new scheme came up for hearing before a two-judge bench headed by Justice Khadim Hussain Shaikh, an SBCA deputy director (design and complaint) filed comments stating that before launching a large publicity campaign of “Bahria Greens” on media for booking/sale of plots, Bahria Town did not obtain the NOC as required under Section 5 of SBCO 1979.

It further said that a layout plan for land measuring 4,696.685 acres was issued by the Malir Development Authority (MDA) in August 2014 and Bahria Town had applied for issuance of a revised NOC for the same which could not be considered due to non-fulfilment of conditions of the NOC issued earlier.

“M/s Bahria Town (Pvt) Ltd continued construction of multi-storey buildings/bungalows and development of the project without valid approvals/NOCs from the SBCA and other agencies and matter was under enquiry with NAB authorities and also sub-judice before the Supreme Court of Pakistan,” the SBCA said.

It further maintained that in its January 14, 2018 judgement the apex court had imposed a ban on construction of beyond six floors which was also applicable to Bahria Town Karachi while in its May 2018 order in a suo motu case, the Supreme Court had also directed the allottees of the project to deposit their instalments in a special account opened by the additional registrar at the Karachi registry.

Ad campaign for plots in Bahria Greens project is launched without obtaining NOC

“Since no approval of building plan granted by SBCA all the construction activities at Bahria Town is unauthorised and illegal from SBCA’s point of view. Therefore, a letter was issued to Bahria Town dated 20-11-2018 whereas a public notice was published in newspapers dated 28-11-2018 for awareness to general public after legal vetting by the legal section of SBCA. Furthermore, NOC for sale and advertisement stands invalid vide letter dated 30-11-2018,” it maintained.

The SBCA said that a meeting with a delegation of Bahria Town was held under the chairmanship of the SBCA director general in July 2019 wherein it was assured by the builder that complete information regarding number of plots available in the scheme along with data of constructed buildings will be provided within a due course of time, but no further progress was made in this regard.

A report was submitted to the SBCA chief with regard to an advertisement of Bahria Central Park Apartments that appeared in newspapers and another report was also submitted and an order in the matter was awaited, the SBCA report said, adding that SBCA chief on a report submitted by the director-design in March had referred the matter to the principal law officer.

Accordingly, a letter had been issued on June 10 to the deputy director (Gadap) with a request to provide details, report about site position and court cases, but no intimation had been received from him as yet, it concluded.

Petitioner Tariq Ishtiaque, through his lawyer Khawaja Naveed Ahmed, submitted that the Bahria Town had launched the “Bahria Greens” project without the approval of the authorities concerned and it also had no land for such a scheme.

It may be recalled that on March 21 last year, a three-judge SC bench had accepted the Rs460 billion offer by Bahria Town to implement the court’s May 4, 2018 judgement, which held that the grant of land to the MDA by the Sindh government, its exchange with the private land of the developer and anything done under the provisions of the Colonisation of Government Land Act, 1912 by the provincial government were illegal and of no legal existence.

The land was granted for launching an incremental housing scheme, but the MDA exchanged it with the land of Bahria Town to launch a scheme of its own, the bench in its verdict had regretted.

IGP, Rangers chief issued notices

Another division bench of the SHC on Tuesday issued notices to the inspector general of police, director general of Sindh Rangers, SSP-Malir and others on a petition seeking whereabouts of a “missing” person.

Petitioner Saira Bano submitted that personnel of law enforcement agencies had picked up her brother, Mohammad Amin, on the night of July 14 from their house in Shah Faisal Colony and since then his whereabouts were not known.

She pleaded for the recovery of her brother.

The bench headed by Justice Abdul Maalik Gaddi issued notices to the respondents for Aug 7.

Published in Dawn, July 22nd, 2020