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October 11, 2018

Building 5m homes is no joke, says CJP

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October 11, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday sought the opinion of Attorney General and advocates general of four provinces over the proposed draft prepared by the amicus curie for legislation to address the issues of Katchi Abadis and rehabilitation of their inhabitants.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Umer Ata Bandyaal and Justice Ijazul Ahsen resumed hearing in Katchi Abadi case.

The court handed over the draft prepared by amicus curie to Attorney General and advocates generals of four provinces directing them to give their opinion.

Commenting on the announcement to build five million house, the Chief Justice said that the houses will not be built by announcement. He said building five million houses is not a joke. He said dollar has taken wings and things are going from bad to worse. He said if anyone wants to see the condition of the inhabitants of Katchi Abadis then they should watch the movie “Hitchki”.

The Chief Justice questioned as to whether the government has collected data regarding Katchi Abadis, adding that they have no doubt over the intention of the government and it will take time for constructing houses.

Meanwhile, Advocate General Khyber Pukhtunkhwa told the court that after regularising slum areas, new houses have been constructed in the province. At this, the Chief Justice said that let the court constitute a commission to ascertain as to what has been achieved. “Has the change come in the province and all problems of the people been resolved in Peshawar?” the Chief Justice questioned.

Additional attorney general Nayyar Rizvi told the court that the government of Balochsitan is legislating over provision of houses to the homeless people besides regularising slums in the province.

The CJ said that it is the responsibility of the government to provide adequate facilities to the inhabitants of Katchi Abadis. He said that it is the fundamental right of every citizen to have a residence and the state is responsible for providing facilities to the public.

The Additional Attorney General said that the prime minister has announced construction of five million houses. He sought some time for submitting the implementation report. He further said that the government is also working on relocation of inhabitants of katchi abadis in federal capital.

The Chief Justice asked Additional Attorney General as to when Prime Minister is free to go to slum areas and asses how many people could be accommodated adding that the CDA is bent upon forcing the people to leave slums.

The Chief Justice said that he was not issuing any direction but the Prime Minister being a chief executive should have information and should know the volume of people living in Katchi Abadis.

Counsel for the petitioner informed the court that CDA was demolishing the Katchi Abadis but it changed its plan after the order was issued by the Prime Minister. The Chief Justice said that Prime Minister should himself visit the slum areas in federal capital, saying he had himself visited the areas and the said areas are not feasible for living. The Chief Justice said that constructing five million houses is a difficult task, which will require money and time as well adding that several people will register four families in one house in order to get more houses. The Chief Justice observed that as to what has been done since 1996? “And then they say change has come,” he said. The chief justice noted that retired officers do not vacate government houses.

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