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Administration decides to demolish Nasla Tower manually

Reporting by Sohail Rab Khan

The Nasla Tower will be demolished manually as it was impossible to safely destroy the building without damaging nearby structures by detonating an implosion device.

This was decided in a meeting which
was held on Monday at the office of the deputy commissioner East to finalize
the procedure for demolishing Nasla Tower besides evaluating the expressions of
interest offers.

On Wednesday, the commissioner
Karachi and a technical committee will ask the contenders during the next
meeting on the demolition procedure.

“We will prepare a detailed feasibility report regarding the demolition of Nasla Tower and submit the same in the Supreme Court at the next hearing,” officials said.

The Monday meeting was chaired by
Deputy Commissioner East Asif Jan Siddiqui.

WHAT HAPPENED IN THE MEETING

KMC’s Director-General Works and
Services Shabihul Hasan and senior director anti-encroachment Bashir Siddiqui
shared details of the meeting with SAMAA Digital.

They said that five local companies
had responded by submitting EoI offers. No foreign company took part in the EoI
process, they said.

During processing on Monday, one
company was eliminated because it said it would seek foreign assistance in
demolishing Nasla Tower.

Officials said that finalizing any foreign firm would have taken a long time, exceeding the deadline given by the Supreme Court.

During the meeting, it was decided
that representatives of the four remaining companies would attend the final
meeting, which would be presided over by the commissioner Karachi, briefing
officials concerned about their evaluations and how they would proceed in this
regard.

The Karachi commissioner will finalise the company which would be tasked with the demolition process.

Officers confirmed to SAMAA Digital
that the Nasla Tower demolition would be manual as a safe implosion blast was
not possible at the project site.

The Karachi commissioner and a
technical committee will ask the companies how to proceed with the demolition
process.

Last week, Commissioner Karachi
Iqbal Memon formed an eight-member committee for evaluating local firms
offering expressions of interest or EoI.

Members of the committee included
the deputy commissioner East as the chairman, director-general of SBCA, head of
NED University’s civil engineering department, FWO’s commanding officer, DG of
KMC Works and Services, SSP East, KMC’s senior director anti-encroachment and
director-general of Shehri, an NGO.

The committee has the mandate to evaluate offers received under EoI for demolishing Nasla Tower, recommend the most suitable firm besides suggesting recommendations in this regard.

In order, the Supreme Court had ordered the authorities concerned to use “controlled detonation” for demolishing Nasla Tower.

The district administration served
notices upon residents of Nasla Tower earlier this month. They were told to
vacate the building by Wednesday, October 27.

District East had issued notices on
October 12 after the apex court rejected a review petition against its June
order.

The notices indicated that the
Karachi commissioner “has to submit a report about the implementation of the
Supreme Court’s instructions and ensure that the building is vacated”.

“Take notice that you are required
to vacate the building i.e. Nasla Tower within 15 days,” the notices read.

The district authorities also
advertised the same notices in local newspapers.

Nasla Tower was declared to have
been built on encroached land by the Supreme Court on June 16 this year.

Subsequently, the builder and
residents had filed separate review petitions to stop the authorities from
demolishing it.

At a hearing on September 23, the
petitioners’ lawyer argued that the construction was allowed despite lease
cancellations, adding that in these circumstances, the residents were not at
fault.

Justice Ijazul Ahsan replied that all residents should have checked the legality of the apartments before they bought them. “Are you not aware of the forgery that takes place in the city? How can you buy a house without inspection?” He reassured that the people affected by the demolition of the building would be paid compensation, according to the market value of Nasla Tower, by the government within three months and told the authorities concerned to demolish the building without any delay.

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