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Monday November 29, 2021

SBCA put on notice on plea against allowing conversion of residential plots into commercial ones

November 14, 2021
SBCA put on notice on plea against allowing conversion of residential plots into commercial ones

The Sindh High Court (SHC) has issued notices to the Sindh advocate general, Sindh Building Control Authority and others on a petition against non-framing of rules pertaining to planning, construction, control, demolition and disposal of buildings, and town planning regulations with regard to change of residential land use for commercial purposes.

Petitioner Tariq Mansoor advocate submitted in the petition that rules with regard to building planning, construction, demolition and disposal had not been framed in the Sindh Building Control Ordinance despite a lapse of 42 years. He submitted that Karachi buildings and town planning regulations 2002 had also unlawfully incorporated the change of land use and commercialisation mechanism, allowing the conversion and commercialisation of land without proper town planning and upgradation of civic amenities and infrastructure, which was severally affecting the public amenities and residential neighbourhoods.

The petitioner submitted that the Sindh Building Control Ordinance did not intent or authorise the change of land use and conversion of residential land as per the original master plan of the Karachi Development Authority but contrary to it, the framers of Karachi Building Town Planning Regulations had prima facie acted in excess of their jurisdiction and themselves included the change of land use and commercialisation chapter, which was inconsistent with the ordinance. He submitted that the Supreme Court had also imposed a ban on unlawful commercialisation and change of land use. The high court was requested to direct the government to frame the building, planning, construction, control, demolition and disposal rules and declare the town planning regulations with regard to the change of land use and commercialisation to be unlawful and in contravention of the parent Act.

The petitioner also requested the SHC to direct the civic bodies to enforce the Supreme Court’s directives against unlawful constructions and unlawful change of land use for commercial purposes in all the residential neighbourhoods of the city. He requested the high court to direct the government to bring the provisions of the Sindh Building Control Ordinance and town planning regulations in accordance with the teachings of Islam to the extent of enforcement of rights of neighbourhood in the religion.