KARACHI: The Supreme Court directed Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah to ensure compliance with its order regarding removal of encroachments in the metropolis and submit a report within a month.
Over the course of the hearing, the chief minister informed the judges that the provincial authorities cleared the city’s footpaths of encroachments and removed containers placed outside the CM House for his security.
He said the Karachi Mayor had the authority to remove encroachments but he didn’t do so.
An apex court bench, headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed, was hearing the case at Karachi registry.
Murad said the provincial government complied with the SC order with the provincial cabinet’s approval.
CJP Gulzar observed the ground realities show that nothing has happened in Karachi. “What steps did you take for Karachi’s betterment and its restoration to its original condition?” he asked the chief minister.
“The citizens of Karachi dwell in a village that the entire city has turned into,” the country’s top adjudicator remarked. “Neither is there any water, nor parks, grounds or roads. There is nothing.”
CM Murad said the government laid sewerage lines from Shaheed-e-Millat Road to Tariq Road and built University Road.
“We are carrying out plantation and expanding roads,” he maintained, and sought more time to implement the SC order.
Earlier today, the court took strong exception to non-submission of a compliance report by the chief minister and directed him to turn up before it today at once.
At the start of the hearing, CJP Gulzar asked a state counsel whether the SC’s previous order was complied with.
“We had directed the CM to monitor and ensure compliance with the court’s order,” he recalled. “Where is the chief minister’s report?” he questioned.
The chief justice also expressed displeasure over the absence of the advocate general of Sindh. “Where is the advocate general? Doesn’t he know how important this case was?”
“We had passed this order one and a half years back but it has not been complied with yet. Should we start contempt of court proceedings?” he warned.
Karachi Commissioner Navid Ahmed Sheikh informed the judges that he has already submitted a report.