KARACHI, Dec 25: The Karachi Building Control Authority (KBCA) taking note of the ongoing illegal construction on a 15-acre amenity plot on Manghopir Road has urged the Site Town to take action for the removal of the encroachments, it is learnt.

According to sources in the KBCA, the government had allocated five acres of land near Banaras Chowk to Maulana Abdul Hamid Badayuni of the Anjuman Tableegh-i-Islam in 1962 almost free of cost for the establishment of an Islamic University on the lines of the Jamia Azhar of Egypt. A year later 10 adjoining acres were also allotted for the same purpose. The allotment was made on a condition that the land should be utilised for the specified purpose within three years. The then president Ayub Khan had laid the foundation stone of the Islamic Mission College and had also announced a donation of Rs100,000.

However, the descendants of Maulana Badayuni with the connivance of the authorities concerned and the land mafia have allegedly started illegal construction on the amenity plot.

The KBCA in its communication on the subject “Unauthorised construction in Pakhtun Market, near Badayuni College, Site Town, Karachi,” to the Site town municipal officer has said:

“The market has been constructed by encroaching upon the amenity plot, existing since about 20 years and the encroachment is now going on, as first floor is under construction.

“The matter is already under inquiry before the competent authority and in this regard a detailed report has also been prepared by the then DC-West.

“The removal of encroachment is dealt with by the lesser and authority nominated by the government, Anti-encroachment Cell, city government within their jurisdiction under the law.

“It is requested that the case may be referred to the authority concerned for removal of the encroachment under its statutory responsibility, please”, concludes KBCA’s deputy controller of SITE Town in his letter.

The sources said that the land in question remained unutilised for over three decades and with the appreciation of land prices, which had sky-rocketed over time in the vicinity, Maulana Abid Qadri and his relatives -- the son and other descendents of the late Maulana Hamid Badayuni-- were trying to misuse the amenity land.

According to KBCA sources, illegal structures on the plot were constructed overnight while the Anjuman Tableegh-i-Islam and the city administration opted to act as silent spectators. However, they added, both sides relied only on a few statements protesting the activity so as to keep the record straight.

When the major portion of the land was encroached and the illegal construction got completed, the Anjuman approached the then deputy commissioner, West, Naveed Kamran Baloch, with a request that the Anjuman had adopted a resolution that it be allowed to sub-lease the encroached land to the encroachers.

Accepting the request, the official allowed the sub-lease of the amenity land, though his order also said that the land being sub-leased could not be used for commercial purposes. The sources said that both the request and the subsequent order were illegal.

They said that had the land been encroached upon, the Anjuman Tableegh-i-Islam would have made efforts to get it vacated or if that was not possible then, the land should have been returned to the government.

But the Anjuman sought the permission to sub-lease the amenity land, which was illegal and against the allotment conditions and showed malafide intentions of the organisation, they added.

They viewed that the then DC, Kamran Baloch, on his part, should have resumed the land when, in violation of the lease conditions it was not utilised within three years of the allotment.

The matter was raised during the tenure of Mr Baloch’s successor, who in his report confirming the illegal actions of his predecessor had recommended that cases be registered against the government official, the office-bearers of the Anjuman and the encroachers.

However, no headway was made in this regard as those involved in this misappropriation were very influential people, sources said.

The former Sindh labour minister, Shoaib Bokhari, had also approached the then Sindh chief minister, Liaquat Jatoi, and had reportedly informed him that the precious amenity land was being misappropriated and had requested that steps be taken against the culprits and the land be resumed so that it could be used for its original purpose but to no avail.

The National Accountability Bureau (Sindh) had also initiated an inquiry into the matter sometime back but due to reasons best known to the relevant authorities the probe never took off properly and the case was put on the back burner.

The sources said this showed the influence of those involved in the land scam involving Rs10 billion.

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