KARACHI: Sources privy to NPTV have repeatedly been insinuating that not only the sprawling Karachi Gymkhana is built on the Sindh Govt. land a faction is presently controlling all its affairs unbridled.
Iqbal Ahmed, a former president of KG who has moved to the UK for good, has claimed that a powerful group, headed by Fawad Malik as President, during 2016-17 had spent Rs. 80 million on the rooms project against the requirement of about Rs12.5 million as was asked for by the Project Committee, which was disbanded in 2015.
“In addition to this when the members (over 90) wanted to call a General Body Meeting to have the same audited under ‘special audit’ I was told that the said group having a majority in the Present Managing Committee of 2018 did not call the same for reasons best known to them,” former KG president Iqbal Ahmed added.
A case has been filed in the Sindh High Court which is pending. Many others pointed out that though KG was built in 1886 on Sindh Government’s land the relevant members of Sindh Government themselves had been excluded from KG. The said majority group is perpetuating their hold on the affairs by means of getting themselves elected via unfair polls.
People contacted by NPTV have demanded that Supreme Court of Pakistan should take notice of the implication and instigate a comprehensive probe. They said that if proven that KG has encroached upon the Sindh Government’s land, it should be cleared-off and be used for public’s benefit. Some suggested the place could be turned into an educational institution while others opined that it could serve as an orphanage!
SC orders razing of Karachi’s illegal structures!
ISLAMABAD: SCP, noting that illegal structures had emerged on Jam Sadiq Ali Park, has ordered their removal and restoration of the park in its original condition.
The SCP held: “DG SBCA is present before the Court. He admits that much wrong has been done to the city and such wrong is still continuing in that, amenity plots meant for parks, playgrounds and other amenities are being allowed to be occupied, converted and used for commercial exploitation.
“One of the main example of it is Jam Sadiq Ali Park on which marriage halls, markets, shopping centers apartments, petrol pumps, and CNG stations have been constructed and it was observed earlier that all these activities on Jam Sadiq Ali Park shall be removed, demolished and park restored to its original condition.
“DG SBCA has made a statement that he will ensure that this is done but till date, nothing has been done, rather an effort was made to justify the conversion of Jam Sadiq Ali Park into commercial plot for use of marriage halls, markets, shops, plazas, apartments, petrol pumps, and CNG stations etc. DG SBCA states that he will ensure to restore the park to its original position that of a park and remove and demolish all construction on the site of Jam Sadiq Ali Park and restore it as a public park with all facilities to its green areas for the enjoyment of the general public. DG states that he needs four weeks’ time for doing this exercise and give a report to this Court.
“Besides, Jam Sadiq Ali Park, there are so many other amenity plots in the city meant for parks, playgrounds and other amenity use as per the original Master Plan of the city which have been allowed to be converted into commercial use. DG shall take steps to have all such plots which were originally meant of residential purposes amenity plots and playgrounds to restore them to the original position and remove all illegal and unlawful construction on such plots. There seems to be an epidemic in the city of marriage halls, shopping malls, petrol pumps/CNG stations, and the houses are being allowed to be converted for these purposes. Besides, encroachments upon and change the use of amenity plots like playgrounds, parks and meant for other amenities.
“Henceforth, that is from today there is a complete ban on Master Plan Department of SBCA or any other authority of the City Government or Government of Sindh of allowing a change in the use of land. No such change of use of land shall be permitted. Conversion of residential houses and amenity plots meant for parks, playgrounds and other amenities, their conversion shall not be allowed for commercial use that of marriage halls, markets, shopping malls, apartments, marquees, petrol pumps/CNG stations etc. This complete ban in the cessation of conversion of residential plots, amenity plots like that of parks, playgrounds and other amenities shall apply all across Karachi City including cantonment areas. SBCA nor any other authority shall approve any conversion including pending ones.
“All conversion allowed by these authorities shall be reviewed and all efforts shall be made to ensure that eh land which was originally provided in the Master Plan of the City of Karachi is restored to that status. SBCA shall not approve any multistoried building plan on residential plots meant for residential houses, amenity plots like playgrounds, parks, and other amenities and all such approval given by SBCA shall be reviewed and any building constructed in violation of the original Master Plan in the city of Karachi shall be ensured to be restored to its original position. Environmental Department and all other Government Departments shall ensure that the city of Karachi is restored to that of its original Master Plan and no deviation from it should be allowed to be made. MPGO of SBCA shall not convert or allow to be converted the use of plot or land from its original use to that of any other use.
“All constructions which are illegally and unlawfully made in the city of Karachi shall be reviewed by the SBCA within a period of one month and a report in this respect shall be submitted to this Court, which should recommend the solution as to how these illegal and unlawful constructed buildings can be demolished and the plot/land put to its original use and how the people, who are occupying such buildings, will be compensated and provided alternate accommodation by SBCA from the funds generated by its own staff.
“Accountant General Sindh shall discuss the issue with the DG SBCA as to how the payment of emoluments to the staff of SBCA is to be released. Besides, Additional Advocate General Sindh has been asked to take instructions from Government of Sindh as to how the Government of Sindh can best address the situation more particularly of taking over the functions of SBCA including Master Planning of the cities all over Sindh and a response in this regard from Government of Sindh should be made available to this Court before the next date of hearing.
“The Chief Secretary, Government of Sindh shall be present before the Court and make a statement in this regard. It is informed by the Director General, SBCA that in respect of illegal building constructed in Lyari area inquiries have been ensued against the officials and that these inquiries will be finalized for which he needs one month time. Such one month time is allowed to him.
“Besides, Lyari area, as noted earlier similar illegal buildings have been constructed all over the city of Karachi and DG states that he is also taking up this matter and will proceed against all officials of SBCA who have played havoc with the city in allowing illegal, unplanned and filthy buildings in the city to eh builders who even do not care to ensure that the buildings are maintained after it is constructed and occupied as most of the buildings in the city as crumbling down with seepages and are without paint.
“All sorts of additional constructions of work have been made in them and they give such an ugly and destructive look to the city. It is for the Government to ensure that reasonably safe and good living is provided to the people of the city with all amenities which are essential to be provided by the State by building and zoning the city in appropriate manner with playgrounds, schools, colleges, universities, and hospitals easily accessible to the citizens with roads and transport.
“KW&SB have built on Officer Club and are running marriage halls on KW&SB land on Shahrah-e-Faisal which is meant to be used for KW&SB for amenity purposes. The construction of the Club and allowing of marriage functions on such land is not permissible by law and should be stopped forthwith. The Club building or any other construction shall immediately be demolished from such land.
“There should be a public park on whole of such land and in such park proper facilities for the general public shall be provided including plantation of trees, laying down grass and other beautifications. MD KW&SB shall be sure compliance of this order today and make a report to this Court on the next date of hearing. The matter is adjourned to 24.01.2019 when a further progress report in the matter shall be submitted before the Court.”
Flooded streets, no power after heavy rains overnight
KARACHI: People here woke up to flooded streets after it rained intermittently early Monday morning.
The heavy showers with thunderstorm lashed metropolitan and adjoining areas on Sunday night.
As a result of rain, weather turned more cold and chilled, forcing people to stay indoors.
The city also jumped into darkness as power breakdown was reported soon after rain started.
Several areas of the city were still deprived of electricity supply. The rain water accumulated in downtown areas, entering shops and houses.
The rain left a number of roads, residential lanes, parks, and markets in Liaquatabad, Saddar and North Nazimabad with puddles of stagnant water.
The Pakistan Meteorological Department has predicted more rain in the next two days. It recorded 15mm rain near the Karachi airport.
A thunderstorm and heavy rains hit Lahore too. The residents woke up to the sound of the rain too. The temperature fell to 4°C and is expected to rise to 16°C.
Dozens of huts destroyed in Karachi slum fires
KARACHI: A fire that broke out in slums near Yasinabad Graveyard burned down as many as 300 huts on Sunday.
Police and fire brigade sources said that the fire erupted in a village near Yasinabad Graveyard on Sunday afternoon.
Three fire tenders were dispatched to put off the fire which was finally extinguished after efforts of several hours.
Around a 100 huts in the area were also saved, the officials added.
The fire department and the police ruled out the possibility of any sabotage behind the incident.
However the residents claimed that a builder mafia might have set the huts on fire to vacate the place, a ‘prime land’ situated between Gulshan-i-Iqbal and FB Area.
The police claimed the fire engulfed the whole area because of delay in response by the fire officials.