SC turns down request to halt anti-encroachment drive along Karachi drains

KARACHI: Revoking its stay order on the anti-encroachment drive along with Gujjar and Orangi drains, the Supreme Court on Monday ordered Karachi Metropolitan Corporation to continue the drive along the drains ahead of monsoon season.

The case related to the removal of encroachments along with the drain was taken by a bench headed by Chief Justice Justice Gulzar Ahmed at the apex court’s Karachi registry.

At the outset of the hearing, the counsel for KMC said that the work on the expansion of Gujjar and Orangi drains was underway on the court orders, but the anti-encroachment tribunal has stopped them from razing the leased houses.

Sindh advocate general apprised the court that Rs20,000 per month rent would be given to the affectees of the drive.

On the occasion, the top judge asked who is responsible for leasing the land around these drains? “Sindh government is responsible for leasing the land of drain,” said the judge.

The counsel for the affectees, Faisal Siddiqui, said that the lease was given by the Karachi Development Authority and KMC.

Six thousand affectees of the anti-encroachment drive should be given alternate residence, he added.

The bench wondered how can it give relief to the people occupying the state-owned land? “This is a matter related to “China cutting” and all the lease documents are fake, the top judge declared.

Later, the court revoking the stay order and ordered the KMC to continue its drive along the drains for the expansion.

The SC also turned down the request of the affectees for compensation.

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