Owners have 15 days to revert their plots’ status
The Karachi Development Authority is set to cancel the allotments of Korangi’s Mehran Town’s residential plots that are being used for commercial activities. A 15-day deadline has been issued.
This announcement was made by KDA Director General Asif Ali Memon during his visit to Mehran Town chemical factory site where 17 labourers were killed in a blaze on Friday.
The factory was illegally constructed on a residential plot.
DG KDA director general made it clear that allotments of all the plots where illegal commercial activities are taking place will be cancelled after 15 days.
Memon said strict legal action will also be taken against those who are running illegal commercial activities on residential plots.
He directed KDA officials to seal all the properties that are being used illegally after the deadline ends.
“FIRs will be lodged against those using their residential property for commercial purposes as precious lives were lost in a tragic fire incident,” he said.
He asked plot owners to change the status of their plots back to original one if they don’t want their allotments to be cancelled and plots were taken into government custody.
During 1970-74, KDA started Mehra Town project in Korangi as a low cost housing scheme for overseas Pakistani. However, the plots were encroached upon by the land mafia with the patronisation of political parties.
A man, identified as Muhammad Nadeem Sheikh, has filed a petition in the Sindh High Court requesting a judicial inquiry into the factory fire in Karachi’s Mehran Town.
Seventeen labourers were killed in a blaze that erupted at a chemical factory in Korangi Friday. The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained. According to initial reports, the workers died of asphyxiation.
The petition, submitted in court on Monday, stated that the factory was built on a residential plot. It didn’t have any precautionary measures for fire incidents, nor did it have any fire exits or equipment such as extinguishers.
“The unfortunate factory was practically turned into an oven. The windows had iron grills, a steel mesh, and a glass layer. The Karachi heat already makes things unbearable and one can imagine the discomfort the workers must be felt.”
Advocate Sheikh pointed out that there were two new fire tenders sitting at the office of the Korangi Association of Trade and Industry but there was no one to drive them. Consequently, tenders from other areas had to be called in resulting in a delay.
He has requested the court to increase the compensation amount of the factory workers killed in the fire to Rs5,000,000. Earlier, the Sindh government had announced Rs1,000,000 for grieving families.
The petition added that the FIR of the incident registered at the Korangi police station includes sections 322 and 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code. This should be replaced by section 302 [punishment for murder].
“The incident is not an accident, but is a clear murder and attempt of murder.”
The Sindh government, Sindh Building Control Authority, and the Sindh chief secretary have been named as respondents in the petition.