KARACHI: As the Supreme Court ordered the demolition of Nasla Tower within a week, the support for the residents of the 15-storey building started growing as on Wednesday leaders of major political parties met the families sitting outside the building, expressed their sympathy and demanded that the Sindh government provide alternative residence before execution of the apex court orders.
First it was Leader of the Opposition in the Sindh Assembly Haleem Adil Sheikh, who visited the families of the Nasla Towers and “appealed” to the Supreme Court to allow more time for resettlement of the residents on humanitarian grounds and devising a mechanism for payment of compensation to them at the earliest.
While calling the apex court verdict “a tough one”, he assured the families that he would take up the issue with the federal government to find a way out within the ambit of the law on humanitarian grounds.
PTI, PSP and MQM-P demand compensation and alternative houses for residents of 15-storey building
“Everyone knows that actually it’s the Sindh government of the Pakistan Peoples Party which is responsible for the construction of Nasla Tower,” he told reporters. “All the relevant department and agencies which allowed the construction of this project work under the Sindh government. Now it is the responsibility of the chief minister to ensure alternative residents for the affected families and timely disbursement of the compensation.”
Earlier, the parliamentary party leader of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) Kanwar Naveed Jameel approached the Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah asking him to take personal efforts and interest to ensure alternative residences to the affected families of Nasla Tower and reasonable compensation for each apartment owner in the building.
“One cannot deny the fact that the organisations which regulate the construction activities in the city and keep checks on illegal business related with the real estate sector work under the [control of] Sindh government in line with the defined law,” he stated in the letter.
“The Sindh government is solely responsible for such illegal business and being the head of the government it’s now your responsibility to ensure reasonable alternative residence to the affected families,” he told the CM in the letter.
Only on Tuesday, MQM-P senior deputy convener Amir Khan met with the families at Nasla Tower and expressed solidarity with them. He told reporters that the officials of departments under the Sindh government who passed the layout plans and allowed the construction of the building should be held accountable.
Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) chairman and former city mayor Syed Mustafa Kamal also met the Nasla Tower families on Wednesday and strongly condemned the Sindh government for promoting illegal construction activities which had ultimately led to a “disaster” for scores of families.
“This Nasla Tower should not be turned into another Lal Msajid by pushing the oppressed against the wall,” he said.
“The problem of the victims of the Nasla tower can be solved within 24 hours. If the government does not have money to compensate the victims, then there are thousands of builders who can easily generate funds and later on the amount can be compensated to the builder by adjusting the same in SBCA [Sindh Building Control Authority] challans,” he suggested.
Published in Dawn, October 28th, 2021