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SC slams govt inaction to remove encroachments from parks in Karachi

KARACHI: The Sindh government on Saturday earned ire of the Supreme Court for failing to remove encroachments from parks, play grounds and other amenity plots in Karachi.

The two-judge bench comprising Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Maqbool Baqar was hearing a case pertaining to illegal encroachments on the state land and plots meant for recreational activities at the apex court’s Karachi registry.

Justice Gulzar observed there were still illegal encroachments in the city. Political parties have set up their offices on the state land and amenity plots, he added.

He asked Advocate General Zameer Ghumro to explain as to what action the government has taken to remove these encroachments.

When the bench asked if there was any official of Karachi Development Authority and Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) in the court, acting municipal commissioner Asghar Sheikh appeared before it.

Justice Gulzar came down hard on him saying he had appeared before the court at the previous hearings, but he didn’t have sufficient information to answer its queries with regard to the case.

He asked the AG whether the affairs of Karachi were left at the helm of ad hoc officers. Was not there any other efficient officer, he questioned.

Justice Mqbool Baqar also expressed displeasure over the absence of the Sindh chief secretary in the court and asked Ghumro to apprise him of his whereabouts.

On this, the AG replied the Sindh chief secretary couldn’t turn up owing to his ill health.

He asked the AG to ensure his presence within an hour.

Justice Gulzar said the Karachi safe city project had hit snags for the last four years, whereas the same projects had already been undertaken in Lahore and Islamabad.

The AG assured that he would talk to the provincial authorities to resolve the issues.

Had the executive authorities left their work for the judiciary to pull off, Justice Gulzar snapped.

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