Lease of lands along drains illegal, DC tells SHC
KARACHI: Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) had in 2015 cancelled all leases on and along 30 big and small stormwater drains of the city following a resolution of the city council, deputy commissioner of Karachi’s district central maintained in comments filed in a petition moved by citizens for paying compensation to those whose houses along Gujjar Nullah had been demolished during the recent anti-encroachment drive.
Mohammad Salman and other citizens had filed a petition claiming that they had constructed their houses on the plots leased to them by KMC and other authorities of the city. They had requested the court to restrain Sindh government, KMC and other authorities from razing their houses without paying them compensation.
The DC pointed out in the comments that encroachments on the stormwater drains crisscrossing the city were creating hindrance in smooth flow of the rainwater and inundate nearby low-lying areas during rains.
He said the then administrator KMC Shoaib Siddiqui after approving city council’s resolution had ordered the then metropolitan commissioner Sami Siddiqui to cancel all the leases granted on and along the stormwater drains and take stern action against those officials under the relevant rules who had granted such leases. The then administrator KMC had also ordered removal of structures built on illegally leased out drains’ land, maintained the DC.
According to the DC, drains whose land was illegally leased out are: Gujjar Nullah, Orangi Nullah, Shershah Nullah and Hub River Road Nullah, Baldia Kalari Nullah. Pitcher Nullah, City Nullah, Soldier Bazar Nullah, Frere Nullah, Nahr-e-Khayam, Manzoor Colony Nullah, Mehmoodabad Nullah, Zahri House Nullah, Korangi Industrial Area Nullah, Road 10000 Nullah, Mehran Highway Nullah, Chakor Nullah, Azeempura Nullah, Pehlwan Goth Nullah, Sangol Nullah, Haroonabad Nullah, Lalaabad Nullah, Mochko Nullah, Road 12000 Nullah, Golden Town Nullah, Road 7000 Nullah, Road 5200 Nullah, Road 4200 Nullah, Road 9000 Nullah and Mehran Cut Nullah.
The DC said the petitioners had encroached land on Gujjar Nullah and they were illegally granted lease by Sindh Katchi Abadi Authority. The DC maintained that since the leases possessed by the petitioners were illegal, they were not entitled to claim or get any sort of compensation.
A one-judge bench of SHC comprising Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar after taking the comments on record deferred further hearing to a date to be fixed by office of the court.
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