Court issues notices to KMC, summons reply
The residents of Karachi’s Orangi Town have challenged the anti-encroachment drive along the Orangi nullah.
The KMC and district administration began the anti-encroachment drive on one of Karachi’s biggest stormwater drains on Friday, February 25. It is one of the three drains that are being widened to ensure a smooth flow of rainwater. The other two are the Gujjar and Mehmoodabad nullahs.
Thirty-eight residents filed a petition in the Sindh High Court and said that they have been living in the area since the partition of Bangladesh, adding that they are ‘lawful’ and ‘legal’ owners of their houses.
The petitioners said they were given the lease under the Housing Scheme Act, 1987. They have connections to utilities such as electricity, gas, and water and pay bills.
The court has issued a notice to the government and instructed it to submit a reply in the case.
Justice Hassan Azhar Rizvi remarked that katchi abadi and schemes for goths have destroyed the city. The Supreme Court has ordered authorities to clean nullahs.
Advocate Usman Farooq, who was representing the Orangi Town residents, said that leased houses are being demolished under the name of encroachment.
Who approved their lease on nullah, asked the judge. Have you forgotten Karachi’s condition during the rains? Children had drowned in the Orangi nullah, he added.
The court has also summoned arguments on the maintainability of the petition.
Names of the petitioners: Muhammad Islam, Mrs Sajid Bano, Zarina Begum, Murad Hashim, Ali Haider, Suhail Azam, Bilal Ali, Mehtab Ahmed Khan, Muhammad Murtaza Ali, Ashraf Ali, Reshma, Muhammad Faisal, Shahid Nihal, Muhammad Jamshed Alam, Shiekh Muhammad Tariq, Zakia Bano, Syed Sharfuddin, Arshad Hussain, Muhammad Dilshad, Muhammad Javed, Muhammad Afsar Alam, Iqbal Hussain, Asad Jameel, Abdul Qadir, Yasmin, Adil Ahmed Khan, Faisal, Mahmood Alam, Baboo Jan Ahmed, Allah Dita, Sultan Ahmed, Mehboob Alam, Riaz Ahmed, Shahid, Noor Alam, Kaneez Fatima.