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SC gives KDA last chance to present Karachi’s original master plan

SC gives KDA last chance to present Karachi’s original master plan

KARACHI: The Supreme Court has directed for the umpteenth time the head of the master plan department of the Karachi Development Authority to submit Karachi’s original master plan along with complete record pertaining to the land of a drain allegedly encroached upon in PECHS.

A three-member bench headed by Justice Maqbool Baqar and comprising Justices Faisal Arab and Munib Akhtar gave this direction to the master plan department while hearing a petition filed by the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation at the SC’s Karachi Registry.

The KMC approached the SC seeking removal of illegally built shops from the drain passing through Block 6 of PECHS.

The apex court has been issuing directives to the master plan department since 2017 to present the original master plan of the metropolis. But, they have been failing to comply with the court’s directives and seeking more time to do so.

The bench expresses annoyance over repeated failure of the master plan authorities in presenting the important document

At the outset, the judges once again inquired about the original master plan of the city from the director of the master plan department.

The bench members expressed their extreme displeasure with the master plan department authorities, as a law officer for the master plan department disclosed that there was no master plan of the city.

Justice Baqar remarked as to whether a mega city like Karachi was being run without having a master plan.

Taking exception to the failure of the authorities concerned in presenting the document, the court directed the master plan department’s head to present the plan of the metropolis before the court on the next date at every cost.

It further directed that the information, including when the master plan was approved and who was delegated the administrative powers under such a plan, should also be submitted to the court.

The bench also directed the secretary of the works and services ministry to submit the original master plan of the housing society, PECHS, in court before the next date.

During a previous hearing, the KMC’s law officer had informed the court that as many as 89 shops had been illegally built over the drain’s land and sold in violation of rules and regulations.

It was further informed that the unauthorised constructions were causing hurdles in cleaning of the drain, which could expose the residents to difficulties.

Published in Dawn, June 2nd, 2019

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