Encroachments on footpaths: SHC summons district municipal administrators

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday summoned the district municipal administrators of the city’s five districts to explain which provision of law empowered them to grant permission for occupation of the footpaths and charge license fee.

Headed by Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, a division bench was hearing a petition by NGO, United Human Rights Commission of Pakistan’s secretary general Rana Faizul Hasan who move court against encroachments on footpaths and roads of the city.

Provincial law officer told the judges that directions of this court could not be communicated to the district municipal administrators for their appearance in court to explain allotment of footpaths for installing generators.

A private bank’s counsel said the bank was paying a licensee fee in sum of Rs180000 every year to the local administration for placing the generator on the footpath. The provincial law officer was unable to explain under what provision of the law the administrators were empowered to allot the footpaths.

The court directed him to ensure that all five administrators show up before it on the next hearing. The Hearing was adjourned till December 01.

The Petitioner had submitted that the footpaths around markets in the city had been encroached by shop owners, roadside vendors, operators of illegal parking and inter-city bus terminals with the connivance of civic authorities and the traffic police.

He said areas such as Regal Chowk, Akbar Road, M.A. Jinnah Road, Shahrah-i-Liaquat, Pakistan Chowk, Ranchhore Line, Abdullah Haroon Road, Zaibunnisa Road, New M.A. Jinnah Road, Nishtar Road, Super Market Liaquatabad, Al Asif Square, Landhi and Qauidabad where footpaths and pavements were encroached upon.

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