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March 10, 2017

Nazeer Hussain varsity built on land reserved for park, SHC told


March 10, 2017

Nazeer Hussain University, named after the late father of Muttahida Qaumi Movement founder Altaf Hussain, has been established on an amenity plot in Federal B Area which was originally reserved for a park, the amicus curiae told the Sindh High Court on Thursday.

The court was hearing a petition filed by Fazl-e-Haq with regards to alleged conversion of amenity plots, ST-2 in Block-14 and ST-5 in Block-6, in the Federal B Area. The petitioner’s counsel, Abdur Rehman, told the SHC that the university had been established on an amenity plot which was originally reserved for a park.

The SHC’s division bench headed by Justice Nadeem Akhtar observed that since the university was not party in the proceedings and the matter was of public interest litigation, therefore, notices be issued to the varsity management after impleading the university as respondent in the petition.

Earlier, the court was informed by the counsel of the defunct City District Government Karachi that the university was constructed on four acres of land. However, an additional area of 10 acres was also allotted in pursuance of a memorandum of understanding between then CDGK and the university management.

The counsel of the defunct CDGK was directed to justify the nazir’s report which states that four and 10 acres of land were granted to the Khidmat-e-Khalq Foundation, the charity foundation of the MQM. He submitted that no title documents with regards to additional land were available, however, it was yet to be ascertained whether such an MoU constitutes any right in relation of occupying additional land.

The court had observed that prima facie memorandum is not justification to retain additional land. As for the issue raised in the petition that the entire land was meant for a park, the SHC bench observed that it shall be considered in light of a counter-affidavit and a statement from the counsel concerned.

Referring to the Director Land of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, the nazir’s report states that four acres of land from ST-2 had been sanctioned on March 17, 1991 by the then Sindh government and the plot was sold on a fixed price for purpose of education in favour of Khidmat-e-Khalq Committee (now Khidmat-e-Khalq Foundation).

The senior director of the KMC had mentioned in the nazir’s report that a master plan of Gulberg Town was available in the shape of a book but details of the plot were not available in it.


University Road

The Sindh was trying to complete the University Road and Tariq Road renovation projects before the stipulated June 30 deadline, the local government secretary told the SHC on Thursday.

The court was hearing a petition by a citizen seeking early completion of the projects. The petitioner has submitted that the projects had been started three months ago and the slow pace of work had been causing severe inconvenience to residents and commuters. 

The petitioner contended that these projects were causing traffic congestion on most major roads of the metropolis and the situation was being compounded by the lack of traffic police personnel to guide motorists.

He further submitted that reputed and professional bodies such as the Pakistan Engineering Council should be overseeing the project to ensure that top quality material was being used and all necessary standards were met.

The court was requested to direct the local bodies government to expedite work on the projects and complete it at the earliest. The petitioner sought directives to the traffic police to ensure better traffic management and also the details of the contract award of the project.

At yesterday’s hearing, Local Government Secretary Mohammad Ramzan Awan and Project Director Niaz Soomro submitted that progress on the project had been satisfactory and the departments concerned were trying to complete it before the June 30 deadline.

The petitioner’s counsel, however, opposed the LG secretary’s statement and submitted that progress was unsatisfactory due to which the public at large was suffering immensely. The division bench headed by Justice Nadeem Akhtar directed the project director to appear before the court along with copy of the contract signed with a private contractor and submit a progress report on a weekly basis.

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