Sindh CM wants commission to probe illegal allotment, construction

  • Sindh govt to allot 80sq yards plots to displaced people of Gujjar, Orangi Nullas:
  • Sindh files 3 applications in SC for acquiring Rs10bn of Bahria Town

KARACHI (July 2): Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that, on the directives of Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto, the provincial government has decided to allot 80 square yard plots to  all the 6500 families displaced due removal of encroachments along the embankments of Gujjar and Orangi Nulla.

“Since the affected people are very poor to construct their houses, therefore we would like to request the Supreme Court of Pakistan to provide Rs10 billion being recovered from Bahria Town to spend on the construction of over 6500 houses, development road, drainage and water supply infrastructure in Malir district and to construct drainage system on the left bank of River Indus which usually inundated the big cities and town in the areas.”

This was on Friday while addressing a crowded and important press conference at CM House. He was accompanied by his cabinet members, Syed Nasir Shah, Sohial Anwar Siyal and Advisor Law Murtaza Wahab.

Mr Shah said that the PPP chairman has directed the provincial government to provide houses to the displaced people of Gujjar and Orangi Nullas.

“Federal government has agreed to give two months rent to the affected people at a rate of Rs15000 per month and it has agreed to provide them apartments in Naya Pakistan Housing schemes,” he said and added “the manifesto of PPP calls for provision of shelter to the shelterless, therefore it become the responsibilities to provide houses to the affected people,” he said.

The CM said that he has decided that the 80 square yard plots be provided to each displaced family either at Taiser Town or LDA Scheme-42. “The people who had no money or resources, therefore they had settled along the embankments of the nullas and obviously they would have no resources to construct a 80 square yard house,” he said and added the resources of provincial government were also limited, therefore the provincial cabinet has decided to file three applications in the supreme court of Pakistan.

(1) The application would request the Supreme Court of Pakistan that the anti-encroachment drive along the Gujjar and Orangi Nullas have rendered 6500 families.

The Sindh government has decided to provide a 80-square yard plot to each family and the construction of the house would cost Rs 1 Million each unit and the amount would come to Rs3.5 billion along with the construction of the entire infrastructure of roads, draining and water supply. Therefore, the funds being recovered from Bahria Town may be provided to construction of the houses.

(2) The second application would be about District Malir where a large number of development schemes, including of water, sewerage, roads and storm water drains were being launched to develop the area, Murad Ali Shah said and added that the provincial government was facing shortage of funds, therefore the funds being recovered from Bahria Town may be given to the Sindh government to gear up the development in Malir district.

(3) The third application would state that the various districts located on the Left Bank of River Indus such as Badin, Mirpurkhas, Sanghar and others inundate whenever it rains heavy, the CM said and added the Irrigation department in 2013 had prepared a drainage scheme to dispose of rainwater from Left bank area but due to paucity of funds the scheme has not been launched in full swing.

He said that the supreme court, in the third application also, would be requested to divert the funds of Bahria Town to the left bank drainage scheme.

The chief minister said that these all schemes would cost around Rs10 billion. “therefore, through three applications, to be filed on Saturday morning, the supreme court would be requested to divert Rs10 billion being recovered from Bahria Town to these schemes so that they could be completed in time.

“We would have no objection if the Supreme Court appoints a monitory judge or monitor itself the implementation of the said schemes,” he announced.

Nasla Towners:

Talking about Nasla Tower, Murad Ali Shah said that his government respected the verdict of the supreme court and would implement it. “We want a way out to save the investment of the residents who have purchased apartments there,” he said added it [Nasla Tower] Could be regularized as Bani Gala was regularized. Brushing aside the impression of his [Sindh] government’s involvement in construction of the Nasla Tower, the chief minister said that the land was allotted in 1950 and then its status kept changing through one approval or the other.

He said that the cantonment authority had also given its approval and the SBCA has also overlooked minor violations. “But it doesn’t mean that due to a mistake of an officer all the residents/allottees of the tower be punished,” he said and went on saying the residents were going to supreme court for review and his government would also request for review.

Inquiry Commission:

Murad Ali Shah disclosed that the provincial cabinet has decided to request the Supreme Court of Pakistan to allow constitution of an Inquiry Commission under a retired judge or a retired grade BS-21 officer to inquire into the matters of allotment of land, approval of layout plans, overlooking violations or allowing extra lands all the controversial projects and fix the responsibility.

The inquiry commission would scrutinize the allotment of apartments, shops, showrooms etc and would identify the involved officer/elected representatives, Murad Shah said and added that the inquiry commission would also explore the legal position whether such projects could be regularized or not.

Q&A:

Replying to a question about the absence of the prime minister from the briefing given to the parliamentarians by army authorities, the chief minister said that it was an important issue and the parliamentarians were being briefed about the security situation in the region particularly in the post-American withdrawal from Afghanistan.

He said that the PPP had not threatened to boycott the briefing if the prime minister had attended the meeting and the PML-N had also denied giving such a threat. “Prime Minister is competent to answer this question,” he said.Mr Shah said that the over security issues were discussed in detail. “It was pointed out that city of Karachi would be affected when American troops would be withdrawn from Afghanistan,” he said

Presidential system:

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah replying to a question about introduction of the Presidential Form of System as proposed by the prime minister, said that he [PM] was confused which system should be adopted. “Once he said in his interview that the Muslims have lagged behind than the non-Muslim nations because they adopted Kingdoms and then says Riyast-e-Madina is the best system to adopt and then said Chinese form of government was most successful,” he quoted the prime minister and went on saying he himself was not clear which system was the best.

Mr Shah loudly said that the parliamentary form of government was one of the best systems which has been delivered all over the world. “Our constitution also allows a parliamentary system, and we have to strengthen it further,” he said.

To a question Mr Shah said that he was going abroad on a private visit and would be back within a few days. “Chairman PPP is also going abroad but where he is going and why he is going can be answered by him,” he said.

The CM said that Asif Ali Zardari was not well. “Despite his health issues he attended the budget session, and that exertion has affected his health,” he said and added Chairman Bilawal has returned from Islamabad to see his father and then he would go to Kashmir.

Irrigation lands:

To a question, the chief minister said that those houses have been bulldozed from the irrigation lands which have affected smooth flow of the water, otherwise no house has been removed. “Yes, if any house is bulldozed its owner would be compensated,” he announced.

Maripur:

To a question, the CM said that only the extensions of shops and some illegal constructions have been bulldozed from Maripur to construct the road. “Maripur road was an important artery of the city and its work has been completed and we just have to inaugurate it formally,” he said. Replying to a question said that the Supreme court has decided the cases of Gujjar, Orangi Nullas and Nasla towers as per law. “The law doesn’t allow illegal allotment, construction or major or minor violations, therefore the supreme court has declared them illegal,” he said and added on humanitarian grounds his government has envisaged a plan to rehabilitate the affected people.

Murad Ali Shah said that his government has started major development works in Karachi. “We have constructed Shahrah-e-Faisal, Tariq Road, Hub Chowk Road, Shaheed-e-Millat Road and various flyover and under passes but yes, there was still need of heavy investment in the infrastructure of the city for which neither the provincial government nor the federal [govt] has resources to invest, therefore donor agencies like World Bank and Asian development has been made our partners in the uplift of the city. He said that with the investment of Rs65 bn Red Line project and Rs35 billion Yellow Lin project would be launched within next few months. “We have launched two water treatment projects and Malir Expressway on PPP mode,” he said.

Murad Shah said that his government would utilize Rs109 billion on different development projects in the city during this financial year.

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