Construction site continues to operate in Karachi’s North Nazimabad park despite court order – Pakistan

KARACHI: Residents of North Nazimabad have complained that despite the last month’s order issued by the Sindh High Court (SHC) to restrain the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) and local administration from occupying a park in their neighbourhood, the construction activity at the playground continued unabated.

Residents of Block L and H, North Nazimabad, have not only been deprived of a recreational and sports facility in their area, but also the operation of a construction site within the premises is causing environmental problems for them.

Mohammad Ameen Khan, an area resident who is also one of the petitioners against the FWO, told Dawn that the SHC had last week restrained the local administration and FWO from occupying any portion of the park or raising construction thereon till Jan 10.

However, he lamented, the court directives had not changed the situation. Calling it a contempt of the court, he vowed: “We would keep raising voice against this injustice and use every legal forum for fixing the things. We hope the justice would prevail.

On Dec 22, a two-judge bench of the SHC headed by Justice Nadeem Akhtar observed that prima facie, the deputy commissioner and assistant commissioner had no authority to hand over the possession of the park to the FWO for establishing a comp office or any other purpose.

On the last hearing, the bench had directed the nazir to carry out inspection of the park in question in the presence of the parties concerned.

At the outset of the hearing on Thursday, nazir filed his report which supported the allegation of the petitioners that the park was encroached upon by the FWO by placing heavy machinery.

A statement filed by the FWO contended that the DC and AC concerned had handed over the part to it for establishing a camp office to facilitate the construction of Gujjar Nullah.

“Prima facie it appears that respondents 5 [DC] and 6 [AC] had no authority to hand over possession of the subject park and or any part thereof to respondent No. 7 [FWO] for establishing a camp office or for any other purpose,” the bench in its order said.

Accordingly, the bench jointly restrained the DC, AC and FWO from occupying any portion of the park or raising construction thereon till Jan 10.

Mohammad Ameen Khan and four other residents of the area petitioned the SHC and submitted that the park, namely Jafico Ground located near Landi Kotal roundabout in North Nazimabad Block L, was well maintained till last year as plants, flowers and benches were installed for area people.

However, the petitioners argued that in September last year, the FWO had parked two dumpers, and dumped crush and bricks on the premises of the park on the pretext of renovation of the recreational facility.

Thereafter, the petitioners contended that the FWO in the presence of the local administration had installed heavy machinery on a portion of the park in violation of the fundamental rights of the petitioners.

Published in Dawn, january 3th, 2023

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