Illegal settlements in Sindh to be regularised after governor passes ordinance

December 01, 2021

Move to relgularise illegal establishments comes after much hue and cry following SC's order to demolish Karachi's Nasla Tower

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— APP/File

KARACHI: Illegal settlements will be regularised after Governor Sindh Imran Ismail ratifies an ordinance sent to him by the Sindh government on Wednesday.

The Sindh government's move to relgularise illegal establishments comes after much hue and cry following the Supreme Court's order to demolish Karachi's Nasla Tower.

When the governor signs the ordinance, demolition works on illegal settlements will be stopped for a period of 90 days, according to the ordinance's draft.

"There shall be a moratorium or a temporary suspension on a demolition activity carried out by the relevant authority on the irregular construction/building for the period of ninety days after the commencement of this ordinance," reads the draft.

The promulgation will allow the government to form a commission — Sindh Commission for Regularization of Construction — to carry out the provisions of the ordinance.

A retired judge of the apex court or Sindh High Court will be the chairperson, and the secretary of Local Government and Housing Town Planning, Government of Sindh, its secretary.

The committee will have the following five members apart from the chairman and secretary:

The chief minister will name the members of the committee within 15 days after the promulgation of the ordinance.

Commission's powers

Moreover, according to the draft, the commission will decide each application preferably not later than 60 days from the date of initiation of proceedings.

Wahab asks why Bani Gala is not being demolished

Administrator KMC, Sindh Government Spokesperson, and Advisor to CM on Law, Barrister Murtuza Wahab, said that the provincial government had decided to stop anti-encroachment operations across Sindh.

“The anti-encroachment operation from Karachi to Kashmore will be temporarily suspended. The Sindh government has prepared an ordinance to stop the anti-encroachment operation. A commission will be set up under the ordinance to determine which non-commercial structures must not be demolished,” he said, while addressing a news conference in Sindh Assembly.

Unfortunately, commercialisation took place in the last several months, he said, adding that it started from the regime of Naimatullah Khan as City Nazim. “When the citizens approached the courts against it (commercialisation), it was decided (by the court) that it is the prerogative of the city government,” he added.

Areas have been commercialised and the consequences are being felt today, Wahab said. “An underground system has not been created. This problem has spread all over Pakistan. Societies have been formed on agricultural land in Islamabad."

The spokesperson asked why, if Nasla Tower is being demolished, then the same not happening to Bani Gala.

He said PPP drafted the ordinance and sent it to the governor. “The Sindh governor will approve the draft of the ordinance,” he hoped, and added that the ordinance was made purely in the interest of the citizens.

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