Education News

Top court orders ‘immediate demolition’ of two Karachi residential towers


ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the commissioner of Karachi to “immediately demolish” two illegal residential towers — Nasla Tower and Tejori Heights — and report back to it by afternoon.

Nasla Tower is a 15-storey residential building which the top court late last month directed to demolish within a week for encroaching on the land reserved for a service road.

Whereas Tejori Heights is an under-construction structure being built on a land purportedly owned by Pakistan Railways. It came on the radar of the Supreme Court last month when the Karachi registry of the forum directed Commissioner Iqbal Memon to bring it down “within a month”.

However, both the directives couldn’t be carried out.

Today, a three-judge bench — headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed and comprising Justice Ijaz ul-Ahsan and Justice Qazi Mohammad Amin Ahmed — asked Memon “how many buildings have been demolished [as yet and] how much work has been done [to comply with earlier court orders]?”

At this, Memon informed the court authorities have started the operation to demolish Nasla Tower.

Justice Ahmed then observed authorities have not even started bringing down Tejori Heights. “The [demolition] process is underway,” responded the commissioner.

“If the operation is underway, submit a report by this afternoon with pictures [as evidence],” responded the chief justice.

The court then directed Memon to take all the heavy equipment and machinery available at his disposal and “start razing Nasla Tower immediately”.

The top judge also directed the official to demolish Tejori Heights today as well.

The bench will now take up the cases at the court’s Karachi registry on Friday.

NASLA TOWER CASE

In a previous judgement on the legality of the ownership of the land, the court had said: “It is claimed that around 1957, the main road that was proposed to be 280 feet wide was realigned and as a result, its width was reduced to 240 feet and the excess 40 feet was allotted to SMCHS through a letter by the chief commissioner in December 1957.”

It further noted the additional area was claimed to have been allotted by SMCHS to one Mustafai Begum and the area of the plot was allegedly increased from 780 square yards to 1,044 square yards and the additional area was neither incorporated in the original/amended lease nor in any subsequent lease deed.

The present owner ultimately acquired it by way of a conveyance deed executed in 2015 and initially, the plot in question was meant for residential purposes, but in 2004 the then city government through a resolution allowed conversion of all residential plots on Sharea Faisal for commercial use and in 2007 the plot was converted from residential to commercial use, it added.

The owners of the tower claimed that the additional area was allotted by SMCHS through a resolution in 2010 and the same came to be included in the total area of the plot while the mukhtiarkar in his report said that SMCHS had illegally increased the size of the plot by allotting the land reserved for the service road, the order said.



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