Rules that illegal structures will have to be demolished
The Supreme Court has asked the authorities to continue the anti-encroachment drive along stormwater drains in Karachi.
The court heard on Monday a petition filed by the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation about the demolition of leased houses along the Gujjar nullah.
The bench was headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed.
The KMC is removing encroachments in coordination with the National Disaster Management Authority, the KMC attorney informed the court.
The Sindh advocate general said the houses along the drains had been illegally leased by different government departments.
The chief justice told the advocate general that his government was responsible for it.
“How illegal leases could be given, what the government was doing,” he remarked.
“All this happened under your nose and [you] didn’t know.”
The counsel of Gujjar nullah operation affectees said their houses were leased by the Katchi Abadi Department, KMC and other bodies.
“Encroachments will have to be removed in any case,” the judge said. He said the operation could not be stopped.
The court ruled that all these lease documents were fake and rejected the plea to stop demolition of houses along the nullah.
Prior to the hearing, the Gujjar nullah operation affectees held a demonstration outside the Supreme Court Karachi Registry.
It is one of the three stormwater drains that are being widened to ensure a smooth flow of rainwater. The other two are Mehmoodabad and Orangi nullahs.
The Sindh government decided to remove encroachments around these drains after the August 2020 urban floods in Karachi.