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Saturday November 27, 2021

Kamal proposes plan to compensate Nasla Tower dwellers

October 28, 2021
Kamal proposes plan to compensate Nasla Tower dwellers

Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) Chairman and former Karachi mayor Mustafa Kamal on Wednesday said the Nasla Tower should not be turned into “another Lal Masjid by pushing the oppressed against the wall”.

Addressing the media during his visit to the residential building, Kamal said that the problem of the affected families could be solved within 24 hours. “If the government doesn’t have the money to pay the victims, there are thousands of builders the government can collect the required money from by creating a pool, and the amount can later be refunded to the builders by adjusting the same in the Sindh Building Control Authority [SBCA] challans.”

He said the misfortunes of Karachi were endless, pointing out that whenever the state institutions or the federal government had to flex their muscles, they turned to the city. “The people of Karachi respect the law, so everyone targets this city. If a building needs to be blown up, blow up the SBCA building, which is a hotbed of illegal constructions, to stop illegal constructions in the city.”

He added that the provincial government was giving away hundreds of acres of land on a daily basis as gifts and political bribes, but it did not have an inch of land to provide alternative accommodation to the tower’s affected families.

“These 44 families of the Nasla Tower won’t just disappear into thin air. They will have to go somewhere, they will have to exist somewhere.” Kamal said the rulers could not solve any problems because they were the real cause of the problems. He asked that while these buildings were being constructed, why did anyone not check into it. “The officials of the SBCA and the [defunct] Karachi Building Control Authority were not asked anything, no dismissal took place.”

He said Nasla Tower residents were being persecuted. “What’s the sin of those whose electricity, water, gas and drainage lines have been cut off? The Nasla Tower shouldn’t be made a matter of personal ego, but the residents should be ensured prompt payment in the light of the Supreme Court’s orders.”

He added that millions of cases were pending before the judiciary, and to fix Pakistan’s issues, the issues related to the institutions need to be fixed. He also said former chief justice Saqib Nisar had collected donations from the entire nation in the name of a dam’s construction, but today neither Nisar nor the address of the dam was known.

The PSP chief said Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry’s son was accused of taking millions of rupees as bribe to settle a case by his father, who was the then chief justice. “The country is running on autopilot. Under such circumstances, this system can’t survive further.”

Haleem’s suggestion

Sindh Assembly opposition leader Haleem Adil Sheikh on Wednesday urged the authorities to grant more time to Nasla Tower residents to vacate the building so they resettle somewhere else.

Addressing the media on his visit to the residential building, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf central vice-president said the affected families’ case should be considered on humanitarian basis. He asked the government to devise a mechanism for compensating them.

He assured the victims that although it was a Supreme Court verdict and a legal matter, he would take up the issue with the federal government to find a way out within the ambit of law. He said the people who purchased flats in the building had checked the official NOCs and documents before investing their hard-earned money in the project, but they were apparently unaware that all those documents were counterfeit.

He argued that the builders had title documents, NOC for sale, master plan and other legal documents issued by the cooperative societies department, the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA), the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, the local government department and the environment department.

“The Pakistan Peoples Party’s [PPP] Sindh government was responsible for the Nasla Tower’s construction, as all the relevant departments allowing any residential project’s construction are subordinate to the provincial government.”

He said the residents deserve compensation, and its timely disbursement is the chief minister’s responsibility. He held the CM, and all the ministers and officers who headed the relevant departments responsible of the situation, demanding their accountability and bringing them to justice.

He suggested that the compensation money be recovered from the accounts of those officers and public office holders. He claimed SBCA’s corruption had caused hundreds of Nasla Towers to be constructed in the city, and the bribes were transferred to the Bilawal House and the CM House.

He condemned the project to construct a new CM House, suggesting that the Rs1.24 billion allocated for it be used to compensate the Nasla Tower residents. He reiterated his demand of forming a judicial commission headed by an SC judge to investigate widespread land grabbing in the city.