Sindh govt being run from Canada: CJP

DailyTimes  |  Jun 15, 2021

Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed on Monday lashed out at Sindh government over unauthorised constructions and encroachments on public spaces.

Presiding over a hearing of a case relating to the construction of a tower on Shahrah-e-Faisal, the chief justice remarked that one Younus Memon was running the affairs of provincial government from Canada. “If you can’t clean a nullah, how can you run a province,” asked Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed, irked at the Sindh government for not paying attention to Karachi’s civic issues. “There is a building control authority, [but you can] give [them] money and do whatever you like. There is no government in Sindh,” observed the judge.

The court also asked the advocate general Sindh what the provincial government will do to ensure these practice are kept in check. “Advocate general Sindh you tell us, you know everything. How can anyone else run your government? Someone will have to stand up and stop this,” remarked the court.

The top judge said that a parliamentary form of government is a strong one but reiterated that when such were the state of affairs that a provincial government cannot clean a nullah, how will it run an entire province. “We gave the orders to clean the nullah over a year ago yet there seems to be a new excuse every day,” he said.

The chief justice spoke about the city’s main artery, Shahrah-e-Faisal, saying that it has never declined in width but has only grown. “The service roads on both sides have been encroached. Everyone is corrupt, even the commissioner is admitting that it has been encroached,” observed the CJP, and added that all the plots mentioned in the case are amenity plots.

Justice Gulzar said Rs2.6 trillion were allocated for an education project that was started in 2014 and was finished in 2017. “This money could have been used to establish a world-class university,” he said.

The chief justice observed that Rs1.5 trillion have been set aside for reverse osmosis plants yet people in Tharparkar are dying of thirst. “The Sindh government only has one plan: turn [the province] from bad to worse,” the chief justice lashed out.

He said authorities should decide what to do about the city’s civic issues. “This is not how you run a government,” he said. “In fact, there seems to be no government [in Sindh],” he said, adding that when authorities pass budgets, they allocate funds for themselves, not for the welfare of the people.

He also slammed the railways ministry and secretary of Pakistan Railways over frequent accidents and poor functioning of railways and urged the prime minister to take steps to improve the railways and also look into the recent irresponsible statement of the railways minister, who said he was willing to resign if it would cover the losses and casualties in the Ghotki train accident.

The court ordered the local administration in Karachi to demolish the Pavilion End Club and end all commercial activities on an amusement park in Gulshan-i-Iqbal. The three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed observed that the Aladin Park had been converted into Pavilion End Club and membership was being offered against fees along with other commercial activities. It directed the Karachi administrator to immediately demolish the club and end other commercial activities on the park’s premises and file a compliance report within two days. The apex court further asked the administrator to develop the premises along with an adjacent plot – on which illegal construction was recently removed – into a park or green belt.

Earlier, the apex court had ordered the demolition of the under-construction residential-cum-commercial multistorey Royal Park building adjacent to Aladin Park and had declared the lease of a two-acre plot, located on Rashid Minhas Road, illegal, while directing the authorities concerned to demolish the under-construction building.

The apex court also dismissed an application filed by some people affected during the anti-encroachment operation around Gujjar and Orangi Town nullahs and directed the authorities to continue the operation. The applicants’ lawyer argued that their leased prosperities were being demolished and proper compensations have also not been offered. However, the chief justice observed that the land around nullahs could not be leased out and the Supreme Court had already passed an order about compensation and rehabilitation.

The court was hearing civil miscellaneous applications (CMAs) filed against the apex court’s decisions on a petition by former city Nazim Naimatullah Khan in 2010, seeking its intervention to get the amenity plots vacated from ‘land mafia and political parties’ in the city.

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