The Supreme Court on Wednesday, lashing out at the provincial and local governments, gave the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) three months to clean out Karachi’s drains and remove encroachments. Hearing the case pertaining to encroachments in Haji Lemo Goth area, a three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed, declared the city commissioner’s report unsatisfactory.
Sindh government has failed to provide basic rights to the residents of Karachi, remarked the bench, warning that the consequences of this would be dire. Nothing has been done in Karachi for the past 20 years, noted the bench, adding that neither the Sindh government was performing nor the local bodies.
It appears as if the provincial government is enjoying the state Karachiites are in — law enforcement is not apparent anywhere, roads are constructed through public-private partnerships, mosquitos and bees swarm every street, sewerage water is flowing through the city while people use planks to walk across streets, observed the Chief Justice of Pakistan. “Is this how a mega city is run,” asked Justice Ijazul Hassan. Encroachments are removed when the court takes action, he remarked.
Meanwhile, Sindh advocate-general said that the encroachments in Karachi will be removed within two months. The people retaliate when the authorities move to remove encroachments, he said. There are 38 large drains in the city, Commissioner Karachi Iftikhar Shallwani told the court. He said that the National Disaster Management Authority has cleaned out three of the city’s drains.