SBCA to initiate inquiry against builder
Report by Irfanul Haq
The Sindh High Court has ordered the demolition of Makkah Terrace near Karachi’s Preedy Street within a month.
At a hearing on Monday, an angry Justice Zafar Ahmed Rajput took notice of all the buildings constructed on illegal land in Saddar. “Our only option now is to demolish these structures.”
He instructed the director-general of the Sindh Building Control Authority to prepare a list of all “corrupt” officers and present it in court by the next week. “Give us the names and details of the officers who allowed the construction of illegal buildings. I don’t care if they are dead, alive, or even retired.”
When the SBCA representative tried to interrupt, the court got irked. “What action have you taken against these officers? Are they still on the seat or were they suspended? Did you arrest the builder of Makkah Tower?”
The building authority’s director-general replied that an investigation against the builder will be launched today (Monday).
“What were you doing earlier? Sleeping? The reason you’re standing here [in court] today is because of your officers,” Justice Rajput pointed out.
He warned that the court will take the corrupt officers to the National Accountability Bureau if the need arises. “We will instruct an audit of their assets too.”
Towards the end of the hearing, the court instructed the SBCA to prepare a report of all the corruption officers and initiate an inquiry against them. No appointments will be made until the investigation is complete, it ruled.
The Sindh High Court’s decision comes after a series of judgments passed by the Supreme Court against illegal structures in Karachi. Last week, during hearings at the apex court’s Karachi registry, demolition orders of Nasla Tower and Tejori Heights were passed as well. Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed has been on a rampage to remove encroachments and raze illegal buildings in the city.
The building is located in Karachi’s Saddar near Preedy Street. It was built in 2016. According to SBCA, 20% of the tower is built on illegal land.
The building has been constructed on 527 square yards and comprises 16 flats. A number of families have been living in the flats for a number of years now.
During the hearing on Monday, the building authority told the court that demolishing 20% of the building is not possible because that will mean sabotaging the entire tower.