SC seeks removal of encroachments from Karachi state land

KARACHI: The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday allowed six-month time to Sindh Board of Revenue (SBR) to reclaim the state land in Karachi encroached by various federal and provincial institutions.

A three-member bench of SC headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Tasadduq Hussain Jilani was seized with the Karachi law and order implementation case at apex court’s Karachi registry.

A senior member of SBR Malik Israr submitted a report in the court pertaining to illegally occupied state land, stating that a total of 59,803 acres of the land was encroached which included 52,130 acres of land under institutional encroachment.

He said that 2,864 acres of the land have been retrieved so far. “The land recovered by SBR was 4% of the total encroached state land,” remarked a judge. The chief justice directed SBR to make efforts to remove encroachments from the state land.

When asked about time required by SBR to reclaim state land, Malik said that at least six-month time was needed to remove the encroachments from the state land. At his request, the bench allowed him six-month time to SBR to get all encroachments removed from the state land.

Meanwhile, chief conservative of the forest department informed three-judge bench that forest authorities had prepared a comprehensive plan for tree plantation on 1,446.46 acres in Qasimabad, Hyderabad, adding that PC-I for plan has also been approved but funds have not been released yet.

The bench directed provincial law officer to take up matter regarding release of the funds with chief minister Sindh and ensure that funds are released to forest department for tree plantation. The bench also directed Hyderabad police to set up police post at the land so that it could be protected from encroachments.

The bench gave these directions while hearing an application filed by civil rights campaigner, Mehmood Akhtar Naqvi, who told the court that forest land measuring 1,446.46 acres in union council 4 of Qasimabad, Hyderabad was vacated on the orders of the SC. He added that the land has been re-encroached by the influential persons.

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