HYDERABAD: Sindh Taraqqi-pasand Party (STP) on Monday accused the federal and Sindh governments of trying to secretly conceive projects along the coastal belt and Kohistan by dispossessing poor people of their properties. “The aim is to occupy these people’s lands,” it claimed.

In a statement, STP chairman Dr Qadir Magsi said that Federal Minister Ali Zaidi recently talked about a project in which a new berth was to be established at the Karachi port and a new port for fisheries. The project also included a bridge to connect Manora beach with Sandspit and has been named as ‘Karachi Coastal Comprehensive Development’. He apprehended that around 25,000 households of Machhar Colony would have to be moved to some other place.

He noted that the layout plan of the project shown by Mr Zaidi reflected many concrete structures but no details about their utilisation had been shared.

The STP chairman said he did not oppose development process but occupation of Sindh’s land could not be tolerated or allowed. He said that all details of the new project should be made public. Earlier, ordinances were issued about Sindh’s islands and the provincial government had also issued a no-objection certificate (NOC) in this regard, he recalled.

The NOCs, he said, were withdrawn amidst protest by people of Sindh. He said federal government could not plan any project on such land on its own without consent of the province concerned and its people. Federal government should share details of all those projects it was planning to execute in Sindh, he added.

No such project would be acceptable unless it was approved by the people of Sindh or it was bound to undermine permanent interests and demography of the province, he said.

Published in Dawn, September 28th, 2021

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