SC orders removal of encroachments in Karachi within 15 days

F.P. Report

KARACHI: The Supreme Court on Saturday ordered that the illegal encroachments in the metropolis be removed within the next 15 days.

A bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar heard a case against land mafia in Karachi at the SC’s Karachi registry.

During the hearing, in which Mayor Karachi Waseem Akhtar and Additional Inspector General Karachi Ameer Sheikh were present, Justice Nisar asked IG Karachi if he was going to remove the illegal encroachments.

“Will you tell us your plan regarding the removal of illegal encroachments in the city,” Justice Nisar inquired.

To this IG Sheikh said, “We are ready to cooperate.”

Mayor Karachi told the court that more than 70 per cent of Empress Market has been cleared.

To this, the top judge remarked that areas around Empress Market also need to be cleared.

Further, the court directed the mayor and the IG that the illegal encroachments be removed from all over the city.

“You do not need permission from anyone else, the court has given you the order,” Justice Nisar remarked.

Assuring the court, Akhtar said, “We will completely clear out Saddar.”

Moreover, the court directed the heads of the cantonment boards and rangers to cooperate with the administration in clearing out the encroachments in a peaceful manner and according to the law.

The top judge further remarked that footpaths should be cleared out as well.

“Those welfare organisations which feed the poor and hungry should be removed. Mayor Karachi should provide an alternative place for them.”

To this Akhtar said, “I do not have the magisterial power to take action.”

“The clean-up task has been assigned to the Karachi mayor,” Justice Nisar remarked, adding, “The team constituted to remove encroachments has 15 days.”

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