Supreme Court pins down Sindh govt with resettling Gujjar Nullah affectees
Sets one-year deadline directing CM Murad to submit initial report in two weeks: Affectees stage protest outside SC Karachi Registry
File photo of Supreme Court Karachi Registry.
In its order, the apex court has directly asked Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah to ensure the implementation of the court order. It gave the provincial government one year time for the rehabilitation of the affectees.
Besides this, the court also directed the chief minister to submit an initial report on the implementation of the court order within two weeks.
The apex court asked CM Murad Ali Shah to personally look into the matter and implement the order.
During the hearing of the case, CJP Gulzar Ahmad inquired of the Sindh advocate general about the progress report on the Gujjar Nullah case.
The AG told the court that the report was submitted by the Board of Revenue and 258 acres of land had been allocated for the resettlement of the affectees. A total of 6,000 houses would be built for this purpose, the AG said adding that when the Sindh government would receive Bahria Town dues from the apex court, it would start working on the project.
Hearing this, Justice Ijazul Hassan asked the AG “you are making it conditional to the Bahria Town dues.”
AG Salman Talibuddin said that the Sindh government was facing a paucity of budget. If the SC releases Rs60 billion dues retrieved from the Bahria Town, then the provincial government would start working on the construction, he added.
Justice Ijaz wondered how could the Sindh government keep an eye on money on the Bahria Town dues retrieved by the apex court.
Talibuddin argued that the Bahria Town dues belonged to the provincial government. The government almost has to build a new city. The provincial government has arranged Rs70 billion out of Rs462, he added.
Justice Ijaz said if the government wanted to purchase cars, then it could arrange money. He wondered what would have happened, if the SC had not got dues from the Bahria Town. He further remarked what would happen if some natural calamity like earthquake or flood struck the country? Will you wait for the budget for one year, he asked?
CJ Gulzar Ahmed remarked ‘let us allot the CM House and Governor’s House to the affectees till the construction of houses.’ He said how come the Sindh government was eyeing money that the apex court had retrieved.
“The Supreme Court will decide where to spend this money. You have been hoping to get Bahria Town dues for the last six months,” Justice Ijaz said.
He wondered the provincial government could not allocate Rs10 billion out of a budget of trillions.
The CJP lamented that Karachi city had turned into a city of garbage and no one was there to look into it. A little rain could drown the whole city and nullah are overflowing, he added. He said the provincial government got billions in foreign aid, but ‘we do not know what becomes of this money’.
It’s shameful that roads are broken, children are dying of hunger and nobody bothers, the CJP remarked. He called upon the provincial government to set aside their political differences and work for the people’s welfare.
Nullah affectees protest outside SC Karachi Registry
Meanwhile, the Gujjar Nullah and Orangi Nullah affectees staged a protest outside the building of SC Karachi Registry against the Supreme Court order regarding the removal of encroachment on the government land.
Reporter Bilal Ahmad