The Sindh government has decided to regularize ‘illegal’ buildings in Karachi and it will soon form a commission to “save the public investment,” according to SAMAA TV.
“The Sindh cabinet is considering rectifying any irregularity by the builder or any government official found in housing projects,” Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said on Monday. “We will form a commission to monitor projects developed in violation of rules and regulations in the city”.
The commission, headed by a former judge, will decide on the regularization of illegal housing schemes. Builders will be penalized for any irregularity found in the project.
The chief minister said an ordinance will be sent to the Sindh governor after approval from the provincial cabinet.
Earlier in the day, Sindh Information Minister Saeed Ghani argued that when the Punjab government could issue an ordinance for the regularization of buildings why Sindh government should not.
The Punjab government issued an ordinance to regularize more than 6,000 irregular housing societies across the province and also constituted a commission for this purpose, he added.
Ghani has asked authorities to view the issue from a human angle instead of debating it on legal merits.
He also referred to “two buildings” constructed on Islamabad’s Constitution Avenue. “There were some violations but because it concerned the apartments of some important people, including Prime Minister Imran Khan, the buildings was regularized with a fine of Rs18 billion,” he said.
The court directives will leave millions of people homeless, he added.
ABAD calls off protest
Meanwhile, the Association of Builders and Developers (ABAD) called off the rally on assurance from the Sindh Government about its charter of demands including regularization of buildings.
Mohsin Sheikhani, chairperson ABAD, said that all the builders get approvals from almost 12 to 15 departments legally before embarking on the construction of buildings or development of land. “This is the reason why dismayed builders and developers of Karachi have stopped work on more than 300 projects with an investment of Rs900 billion at stake,” he added.
He denied the perception that ABAD was protesting against the federal or Sindh government.
ABAD wants that there should a single authority with complete powers so that no one can challenge its decisions and if any irregularity is committed the authority should be held responsible not builders or developers, Sheikhani said.
The action, he said, against the Nasla Tower and other buildings has shaken the confidence of local people as well as overseas Pakistani and national economy has to suffer.
“If our demands are not accepted in a scheduled meeting with the Chief Minister Sindh on December 1, 2021, we will continue our protest for the survival of the construction industry in Karachi.”