Karachi: Pasban Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman Altaf Shakoor has demanded a high-powered commission against government officers who patronized land irregularities and encroachment mafia in the megacity.
Warmly welcoming the heroic decisions of the apex court against corruption mafia in Sindh Building Control Authority and other departments, he said it is high time to remove and punish all corrupt officers and officials of these departments from top to bottom who facilitated the land mafia, hushed up irregularities and turned the blind eye to illegal constructions in the megacity.
He said strict action should be also be taken against the officers of the entities like KMC, KDA, SBCA, Cantonment Boards, KPT and Railways who facilitated encroachers to grab precious government lands. He said action should also be taken to entities that provided electricity, gas and water connections to these illegal settlements, structures and buildings. He said this organized mafia has defrauded hundreds of thousands of people and sold them lands, plots, flats and buildings illegally. He said these corrupt people irrespective of their grade and social status should be sacked and their political backers in the ruling and opposition parties should also be taken to the task.
Altaf Shakoor welcomed the order of the removal of all illegal structures from the land of the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR). He said the people illegal occupying amenity lands should not be given any leniency. He said strict action should be taken against them, and all government lands including the lands of the KCR must be got vacated at all costs. He said the federal, provincial and city governments should show seriousness to implement the orders of the apex court and get help of police and law enforcing agencies if the land and encroachment mafia causes trouble. He said for a better future of our coming generations we all will have to swallow this bitter pill now. He said the government had shown courage to demolish illegal markets around the Empress Market building in Saddar Karachi and such courage should again be mustered to clear the track of KCR from encroachers. He said shops and warehouses illegal built in parking areas of multi-storied buildings and markets should also be razed and actual parking spaces of these building as per their plan layout should be restored. He said illegal parking on main roads like Main University Road near Hassan Square and Burns Road before eatery shops should be ended and corrupt traffic police officers including high-ranking officers patronizing this illegal parking should be punished as per law.
Altaf Shakoor said there is no dearth of land around Karachi and hundreds of thousands of new low cost plots could be developed in suburban areas of the megacity to meet shortage of housing units. He said the government should give these plots on easy installments to poor and low income people and provide whatever legal facilities to them as it could, but the illegal occupation of lands must be ended.
Altaf Shakoor demanded that a mushroom of shanty localities around the Mazar e Quaid should also be cleared from all sorts of encroachments. He said a very serious and committed action is much awaited in chaotic Lines Area and surrounding localities to give a respectable look to the area adjoining the Mazar e Quaid. He said Goths and Katchi abadies should be taken care of and all illegal occupations and encroachments in the names of Goths and Katchi abadies must also be ended and the patron of Goth land mafia should also be taken to the task. He said many marriage halls still operate on lands of parks and playgrounds and action against them is overdue.
Altaf Shakoor demanded to ban the entry of intra-city buses in the limits of Karachi and they should be confined to their government-erected bus terminals at M-9 and Yusuf Goth. He said all illegal terminals of intra-city buses in Saddar, Taj Complex, Regal, Cantt Station and other residential areas should be sealed on urgent basis and legal action be taken against their operators and backers. He also demanded to complete the lingering project of Green Line rapid transit bus system at the earliest. He asked to construct small overhead bridges on inner streets of the megacity, especially in district South’s Saddar and Regal area to reduce traffic congestion.
Altaf Shakoor demanded of the government to compensate all innocent citizens who were defrauded by the land mafia and provide them with alternate land and financial support so that they can erect their homes and give shelter to their children.
He paid rich tribute to the Chief Justice of Pakistan Mr Justice Gulzar Ahmed and asked Prime Minister Imran Khan, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar to ensure strict implementation on the directives of the apex court to give the megacity Karachi a respected and civilized look.