Chief Justice wants building demolished in a week
“Why hasn’t the Nasla Tower been demolished yet? Are you waiting for hammers and chisels to do it?” an irked Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed inquired from the commissioner of Karachi Monday.
At a hearing at the Supreme Court’s Karachi Registry, the top judge, who has been on a rampage against encroachments in the city, refused to let the residents of the building speak. “For us, Nasla Tower doesn’t exist,” he said.
Chief Justice Ahmed instructed the authorities to call in the best and most advanced technology and demolish the building within a week and summoned a report on it.
“Cut off the water and electricity connections of the tower by October 27,” he added and adjourned the hearing.
Nasla Tower is located at the intersection of Sharae Faisal and Sharae Quaideen. One apartment roughly costs Rs30 million. On June 16, the Supreme Court ordered the authorities to demolish the residential plaza. The verdict said that there is “no denial” that the plot was expanded illegally. The original plot was 780 square yards but the tower was built on 1,044 square yards. “A service road has been encroached on and the tower exists on an area in excess of what was originally leased,” it added.
Consequently, the tower’s builder and residents separately filed review petitions to stop the authorities from demolishing it.
At a hearing on September 23, the petitioners’ lawyer argued that the construction was allowed despite lease cancellations, adding that in these circumstances the residents are not at fault.
Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan replied that it was the responsibility of the residents to check the legality of the apartments before they bought them. “Are you not aware of the forgery that takes place in the city? How can you buy a house without inspection?”
He reassured that the affectees would be paid compensation, according to the market value of the towers, by the government within three months and told the authorities to continue the demolition without any delay.
Last week, the commissioner of Ferozeabad published advertisements in newspapers instructing people residing in Nasla Tower to vacate the building by October 27.
The notice said that legal action will be taken if they do not comply. The advertisement refers to verdicts by the Supreme Court dated June 16 and September 22. If the building is not vacated, the Ferozeabad police will have to step in.