KARACHI: Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhter on Friday said that he would not allow to demolish residential houses and apartments for he could not tolerate it to see people shelterless in the metropolis.
“The government should arrest those builders and officials who constructed the houses and issued No Objection Certificates (NOCs) to them,” he demanded while addressing a press conference in Karachi. He also warned to resign from his post in protest against demolition of residential structures.
It is pertinent here to mention that the Supreme Court in November had directed for an uninterrupted anti-encroachment operation in Karachi to transform it into a clean and green city.
The Karachi mayor called for exempting the shops made before houses from the anti-encroachment drive.
“Anti-encroachment operation should apply on footpaths and roads etc, which I and residents of Karachi think should be done. However, houses would not be allowed to take down,” he said in a blunt tone while responding to the criticism from within his own party, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), and others against the anti-encroachment operation.
However, he stressed at the same time that, encroachment should be eradicated from the megapolis.
He also acknowledged that the public places such as parks and other buildings should be vacated as accommodation on those places was blunder of former officials including mayors of that time.
Waseem Akhtar clarified that the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) had nothing to do with the court orders.
“We will move court, if court orders and notices are issued to houses,” he said appealing the top court to look into the matter on human grounds.
It is pertinent here to mention that the government of Sindh has filed a review petition against the Supreme Court’s ruling of launching an anti-encroachment operation in Karachi.
The petition said that several properties which were being demolished had official documents and pleaded to the court to issue a stay order till proper settlement of the issue.