SC directions related to housing facility for poor revive slum dwellers’ hopes

Zubair Qureshi

Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the federal and the provincial governments to submit a reply with regard to draft law related to provision of housing facilities for low-income groups.
Awami Workers Party (AWP) has hailed Supreme Court Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar’s directions for the federal and provincial governments to respond to a draft law prepared by AWP and the Law & Justice Commission of Pakistan (LJCP) for provision of housing facility for low-income groups.
The apex court’s intervention has revived slum dwellers’ hope to own a house of their own despite their poor living conditions, says the spokesman of the AWP.
The law is prepared as a joint effort in connection with the AWP’s constitutional petition on the Right to Housing in the Supreme Court.
According to AWP spokesman, the apex court has come at a time when Prime Minister Imran Khan too has reiterated housing project for low income projects as his government’s top priority.
On Tuesday, while appearing before the apex court, AWP counsel Bilal Minto stated the draft law, submitted nearly two years ago provided a legal framework for katchi abadi regularization, resettlement and low-income housing in Pakistan, had been ignored by governments thus far, despite the fact that the crisis of affordable housing was getting worse.
In response, the Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar remarked the Supreme Court could not force assemblies to pass laws, and that the issue of low-cost housing was a difficult one to resolve given a shortage of state resources.He also said that the state would have to differentiate between genuine residents and land grabbers who were using katchi abadis for commercial purposes.He then ordered the federal and provincial governments, as well the newly-constituted PM’s task force on low-income housing to submit their responses regarding the draft law prepared by the AWP and LJCP within a month.

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