Master Plan Department approved part-plan of these plots in 80s
The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation has started demolishing four bungalows that were illegally constructed on the Hill Park land, KMC officials said Tuesday.
The operation is being led by KMC Anti-Encroachment Department Senior Director Bashir Siddiqui. Officials of the East district administration, police, Rangers and city wardens were also present at the site on Tuesday.
The Hill Park land belongs to the KMC. Previously, it has thrice planned the demolition of bungalows no. 38/G/1, 38/G/1-A, 38/G/1-B and 38/G/1-C, but couldn’t go ahead with it.
These operations were scheduled in February and September 2020, and before the Eid in May 2021.
Siddiqui told SAMAA Digital that former Karachi commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani had directed the KMC Land Department to conduct a complete survey of the Hill Park land.
Shallwani asked KMC officials to scrutinise the legality of these bungalows and others located around the Hill Park land, he said.
“This delayed the anti-encroachment drive against illegal constructions on the slope of Hill Park,” Siddiqui added.
A former KMC Land Department officer told SAMAA Digital that the four plots were carved out by the Karachi Development Authority’s Master Plan Department in early 80s.
“First, the Pakistan Employees Cooperative Housing Society created a 1,200-square yard land as the part-plan in its layout plan and had it approved by the MPD,” the former officer said.
“After a few years ago, they carved out another 800-square yard piece and repeated the same practice.”
After getting approval of the 2,000-square yard land from the MPD, PECHS officials carved out four plots of 500 square yards each. These plots were leased in late 80s.
The issue came to light after the Supreme Court took up a case relating to the encroachment of amenity lands, including those meant for parks and playgrounds.
It ordered the KMC to remove encroachments from the Hill Park land and submit its report.
A few months ago, PECHS Executive Engineer Muhammad Nasir confirmed to SAMAA Digital that the Lane-38, on which the four bungalows are situated, was included in the society’s layout plan later.
These bungalows were present in the PECHS part-plan but not in the final layout plan, according to Nasir.
He, however, said this part-plan was approved by the MPD in mid-70s, adding that the bungalows were constructed by flattening a part of the park’s slope.
KMC Anti-Encroachment Department Deputy Director Amin Lakhani maintains that these bungalows were illegally constructed by encroaching upon the Hill Park land.
“The front portions of all the four bungalows have been demolished,” Lakhani told SAMAA Digital. “It will take at least a week to complete the demolition drive.”
The KMC served eviction notices to the residents before the Eid, according to the official. They vacated the bungalows earlier this week.