The Sindh government and Association of Builders and Developers of Pakistan (ABAD) have joined hands to stop mushroom growth of illegal construction, putting lives of millions at stake in Karachi.
Speaking at a gathering at ABAD house here on Tuesday, Rooshan Sheikh Secretary local government gave go-ahead to constitute task force against illegal construction in the city and expressed his concurrence to appoint vice chairman of task force from ABAD.
He along with chairman ABAD Mohsin Sheikhani and Zafar Ahsan DG SBCA informed the participants that the Sindh government has started working on second master plan 2047 but raised questions about its implementation; requesting the builders and developers to assist the Sindh government in this regard.
Moreover, he said that the role of Sub-Registrar would be eliminated soon as the Sindh government was going to launch a web portal for property e-registration and also automating the process of stamps duty to root out corruption.
He said that Pakistan was facing shortage of 0.35 million housing units every year that led mushroom growth of Katchi Abadis, which was presently hovering around 54 percent of total population of the city; adding that threat of civil war was rising in any country when 70 percent of population lived in Katchi Abadi.
Although the Sindh government has neither launched nor supported any housing scheme during last four decades for middle and lower stratums that forcing the common man to purchase illegal portions in the city despite Supreme Court directives, secretary local bodies claimed that provincial government facilitated these segments of society by offering 120 square yards plots at 1/4 rates and allocated 200 pieces of land at different places for the purpose. However, these lands consisting hundreds of acres were said to be gulped by influential persons, including government officials, politicians, developers, etc. In addition, the Sindh government, which minted billions in Taiser Town Phase I and Phase II, has appeared feckless to develop basic infrastructure at Taiser Town even after a decade.
He further said that government in case of any action against illegal construction was not liable to provide alternate residence to the affectees.
Earlier, chairman ABAD Mohsin Sheikhani termed illegal construction biggest problem of the city, saying that it may create human catastrophe in case of any untoward incident.
He said that members of ABAD were not allowed to commence construction before getting required 18 NOCs from SBCA, other departments and authorities concerned and this process took almost 18 to 24 months. He ruled out the impression that 30 percent of waste in Karachi was construction materials, saying that ABAD members were dispatching construction waste properly.
Mohsin Sheikhani complained that former DG SBCA misinterpreted the Supreme Court order regarding converted plots that led confusion. He, however, said that legal experts opined that the apex court has never prohibited construction on already converted plots and requested the secretary to look into the matter and resolve 70 percent of issues of ABAD members. A large number of ABAD members were present on the occasion.