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Sindh eyes Bahria funds for Gujjar nullah affectees

Petitions submitted in the Supreme Court

SAMAA | - Posted: Jul 3, 2021 | Last Updated: 3 weeks ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Jul 3, 2021 | Last Updated: 3 weeks ago

Photo: Online

The Sindh government has approached the Supreme Court seekings funds worth Rs30 billion from the Bahria Town fund. It says that the money will be used to provide alternate houses to the affectees of Gujjar nullah.

The provincial government has submitted three different petitions.

It said that many people have been displaced because of the anti-encroachment operation being carried out at Gujjar nullah, adding that the government needs at least Rs10 billion to compensate the affectees and building new houses for them.

This is the second time that the PPP-led government has sought the sum deposited by Bahria Town. It had first filed a petition on August 30, 2019. In its petition, the provincial government stated that the province is currently facing a budget deficit. It said that during the last fiscal year, the federation only issued Rs9 billion out of Rs14 billion to the province in the Public Sector Development Programme.

The provincial government stated that the ongoing development projects are feared to be delayed because of the financial problems facing the province. It requested the court to hand over the money deposited by Bahria Town given the current economic situation of the province. The request was denied.

On March 21, 2019 Pakistan’s top court had accepted Bahria Town’s offer to pay Rs460 billion for the land it illegally acquired. It did not include Bahria Town’s Sports City project. People who bought plots in the project will be reimbursed or merged into other projects.

On May 4, 2018 the court had ruled that the Malir Development Authority illegally granted the land to Bahria Town. The Sindh government had allotted the land to the MDA to build a housing scheme. The MDA, however, exchanged the land with Bahria Town. Bahria Town was even barred from selling any plots or apartments in the housing scheme.

Bahria Town has made several proposals to get the land transferred to it. The court had rejected all those offers.

Compensation for Gujjar nullah affectees

The Supreme Court released a written order in the anti-encroachment case and ordered the authorities to compensate the people whose leased houses have been demolished in the drive along Gujjar nullah.

The court had instructed the authorities to continue the anti-encroachment drive along stormwater drains in Karachi.

Gujjar nullah 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.

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