KARACHI: Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Friday said that the provincial government had decided to allot 80-square-yard plots to all 6,500 families displaced because of an anti-encroachment operation along the Gujjar and Orangi nullahs.
He said that the decision was taken on the directives of Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari.
Speaking at a press conference here, the CM requested the Supreme Court to provide Rs10 billion from the funds being recovered from Bahria Town for its Karachi project so that the Sindh government could spend the money on the construction of over 6,500 houses, development of roads, drainage and water supply infrastructure in Malir district and to construct drainage system on the left bank of the Indus, which usually inundated the big cities and towns in the area.
Murad says SC is being requested to give Rs10bn recovered from Bahria Town for resettlement of displaced people
“The federal government has agreed to give two-month rent to the affected people at the rate of Rs15,000 per month and it has agreed to provide them apartments in the Naya Pakistan Housing scheme,” he said, adding: “The manifesto of the PPP calls for provision of shelter to the shelterless, therefore, it becomes our responsibility to provide houses to the affected people.”
Plots to be allotted in Taiser Town or LDA
The CM said that he had decided that plots measuring 80 square yards would be provided to each displaced family either at Taiser Town or Lyari Development Authority’s (LDA) Scheme-42.
He said keeping in view limited resources, the Sindh cabinet decided to file three applications in the Supreme Court.
He said the SC would be informed that the anti-encroachment drive along the Gujjar and Orangi nullahs had rendered 6,500 families homeless and the provincial government had decided to provide each family an 80-square-yard plot.
He said Rs1 million would be needed for the construction of each unit and the total amount would come to Rs3.5bn along with the construction of the entire infrastructure of roads, drainage and water supply.
He said that apex court would be requested to provide funds being recovered from Bahria Town for the construction of the houses.
The second application, he said, would be about district Malir where a large number of development schemes were being launched to develop the area. He said that the court would be informed that the provincial government was facing shortage of funds and the money being recovered from Bahria Town might be given to it to gear up the development works in Malir.
The chief minister said that through the third application the SC would be requested for funds for a drainage scheme to dispose of rainwater from left bank of the Indus.
He said that all the schemes would cost around Rs10bn and the three applications to get the required funds would be filed on Saturday morning. “We would have no objection if the Supreme Court appoints a monitoring judge or monitors itself the implementation of the said schemes,” he said.
Mr Shah said that the provincial cabinet had decided to request the Supreme Court to allow constitution of an inquiry commission under a retired judge, or a retired grade BS-21 officer, to inquire into the matters of allotment of land, approval of layout plans, overlooking violations or allowing extra land to all the controversial projects and fix the responsibility.
“The inquiry commission would scrutinise the allotment of apartments, shops, showrooms, etc, and would identify the involved officer/elected representatives,” he said, adding that the inquiry commission would also explore the legal position whether such projects could be regularised or not.
Talking about Nasla Tower, he said that his government respected the verdict of the Supreme Court and would implement it. “We want a way out to save the investment of the residents who have purchased apartments there,” he said, adding that the building could be regularised the same way as Banigala was regularised.
He denied that his government was involved in the construction of Nasla Tower.
He said residents were filing a review petition before the Supreme Court and his government would also request the same.
Replying to a question regarding Thursday’s security briefing in Islamabad, he said that several security issues were discussed in detail and it was pointed out that Karachi might be affected following the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.
Rs109bn to be spent in Karachi
The chief minister said that with the investment of Rs65bn, the Red Line and Rs35bn Yellow Lin bus rapid transit projects would be launched within next few months.
“We have launched two water treatment projects and Malir Expressway on a public-private partnership mode,” he said.
He said that his government would utilise Rs109bn on different development projects in the city during this financial year.
To a question, the CM said that only the extensions of shops and some illegal constructions had been bulldozed from Mauripur to construct a road. “The Mauripur Road is an important artery of the city and its work has been completed and we just have to inaugurate it formally,” he said.
To another question, he said that the parliamentary form of government was one of the best systems, which had delivered all over the world. “Our Constitution also allows a parliamentary system, and we have to strengthen it further,” he said.
Replying to a question, the chief minister said that he was going abroad on a private visit and would be back home within a few days. “The PPP chairman is also going abroad but where he is going and why is he going can be answered by him,” he said.
He said that former president Asif Ali Zardari was not well. “Despite his health issues he attended the budget session and the exertion has affected his health,” he said, adding that Mr Bhutto-Zardari returned from Islamabad to see his father and then he would go to Kashmir.
Published in Dawn, July 3rd, 2021