Karachi administration takes control of Nasla Tower, locals demand compensation

KARACHI: The administration in Karachi took control of the Nasla Tower on Thursday, prompting residents to demand assurances from Pakistan’s Supreme Court that they will be fairly compensated for their losses.

Previously, the Supreme Court of Pakistan had ordered the building to be demolished because it had been built illegally.

Shortly after the SC’s orders, residents expressed dismay at the decision. They said they had qualms about the compensation because neither the builder nor the city administration was prepared to compensate them for their losses.

“So far no one has contacted us for the compensation money,” said one resident.

In this regard, Deputy Commissioner Karachi East Asif Jan Siddiqi said that after the deadline to leave the illegally constructed building had expired, the administration had now taken control of the Nasla Tower. He added that the Karachi commissioner had solicited offers through advertisements to have the building demolished.

The director of the Nasla Tower said most of the residents moved out last night, however, some residents were unable to find accommodation to rent.

The manager then revealed that eight apartment owners reside abroad and could not be contacted. Thus, he asked the authorities to grant an extension of time so that people living abroad can be contacted and move their property to another location.

Earlier, the Supreme Court (SC) on Monday ordered the Commissioner of Karachi to demolish the Nasla Tower, a 15-story residential building located at the intersection of Sharae Faisal and Shahrah-i-Quaideen, through a “controlled explosion” within a week. and submit a report.

The court had given instructions to ensure that no damage was done to other buildings and people near the Nasla Tower as a result of the explosion.

The case was heard by a three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed and including Judge Ijaz-ul-Ahsan and Judge Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed, at the SC Registry in Karachi, where the city commissioner appeared in court.

He also ordered the builder of the Nasla Tower to refund the money to registered buyers of the residential and commercial units, adding that the city commissioner should ensure that the refunds are made.

A bench of three SC judges, led by Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed, initially ordered the demolition of the 15-story building for encroaching on land intended for a service road on June 16.

By issuing a detailed order on June 19, the court also ordered the builders of the Nasla Tower to reimburse the amount to registered buyers of residential and commercial units within three months.

The court had declared in its judgment that “after having examined the whole of the file and examined the reports submitted by all the organizations and departments concerned, we have no doubt that the tower in question (the Nasla tower) was indeed built on encroached land which, among other things, also blocked a service road.

“Since this is an illegal construction and there is no provision to aggravate such illegality, especially when a service road has been blocked, it is likely to be demolished. “, he added.

The builder of the Nasla Tower had filed a petition for review against the June 16 order, which was dismissed by the Supreme Court last month.

Subsequently, the district administration sent notices to residents of the Nasla Tower earlier this month, directing them to vacate the 15-story building by October 27 or face coercive action from the part. competent authorities.

The Supreme Court summoned Sindh Syed Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah in a case concerning the demolition of rented properties built along the Orangi and Gujjar drains in Karachi to find out why his order was not executed.

During the proceedings on Monday, the court severely criticized the Sindh government for delays in compensating people who lost their homes during forced evictions.

Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed is currently in Karachi for a week-long trip and will hear important cases regarding illegal and unauthorized construction, encroachments on amenity land, conversion of residential and amenity land into spaces. commercial in the provincial metropolis.

During the hearing, Judge Ahmed asked the Attorney General of Sindh for updates on compensation to be provided to more than 6,000 affected people. The tribunal asked what progress had been made so far and what the realities were on the ground.

The attorney general, however, could not satisfy the court. “Summon the Sindh CM immediately, we will ask them if they are trying to mock the court,” the chief justice said.

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court issued a written order in the anti-encroachment case and ordered authorities to compensate people whose rented homes were demolished in the driveway alongside the sewers.

At a hearing on September 23, the court reprimanded the Sindh government for delays in compensating those affected. “Shame on you [Sindh government], said Judge Ahmed.

The court asked the Shah to resettle the victims within a year and requested a report on this, adding that the resettlement of those affected is the responsibility of the state and we must find a way to do it. .

The Gujjar and Orangi drains are two of the three storm water drains which are widened to ensure a regular flow of rainwater. Mehmoodabad is the other.

After the court order on October 5, Shah announced at a provincial cabinet meeting that campaign victims would be paid 15,000 rupees per month for two years.

It was agreed that the evacuees will receive residential units in the Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme as well.

Sindh Local Government Minister Nasir Hussain Shah informed at the meeting that 344 houses near Gujjar Drain and 60 houses and six factories near Orangi Drain have been demolished so far.

“We will take a grant of 300,000 rupees from the federal government and provide 30,000 residential units to the victims,” ​​said Shah, adding that the land for the houses will be provided by the Sindh government.

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