Wednesday Aug 12, 2020
KARACHI: The Supreme Court of Pakistan Tuesday expressed anger at the dismal situation of cleanliness in Karachi, stating that the Sindh government has "completely failed" in the province.
A hearing into the nullahs encroachment case was held today at the Karachi registry of the apex court. Heading the bench, Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmad told the advocate general Sindh that the provincial government had "turned entire Karachi into a goth".
"The entire city is filled with filth and sewerage water," said the chief justice angrily. "Mosquitoes, flies and germs are everywhere. People are walking on stones [to cross sewerage water]," he added.
"In two months, Haji Lemo Goth will be cleared," the advocate general told the court.
"How many years has it been since you have been in power?" asked the top judge.
"This is our commitment towards you," responded the provincial government's lawyer.
"Your commitment should be with the people. But what have you done with them?" retorted Justice Gulzar. "The situation is bad from Karachi to Kashmore. Wherever one goes, the situation is the same," he added.
He asked the advocate general about the public-private partnership boards set up at Sindh's highways. "What is this? We can't allow such work to be carried out. How can you award a contract to someone else?" wondered the chief justice.
The chief justice said that there was "total destruction" and that Sindh government had "totally failed".
"Rulers are the only ones who are enjoying themselves," said the chief justice. "This is turning into a province of total anarchy."
"Who will rectify the province? Do we ask the federal government to rectify the province," asked the chief justice. "Who will provide the people with their basic rights?"
Justice Faisal Arab lamented that people have to move the court to avail basic facilities such as water and power. "I belong to this province as well but look at the situation here," he said.
Talking about the dismal state of affairs in the province, the chief justice said that mafias are operating in the city and that there is no rule of law in the province.
"The entire government machinery is involved [in Karachi's deteriorating situation] including the bureaucrats," said Justice Gulzar. "Millions of rupees are being earned, illegal documents get registered," he added.
The chief justice said that illegal practices take place at the registrar office. "One can't know in whose name his/her property is," said Justice Gulzar. "When a person dies, his/her children get to know that the property has been illegally occupied."
The chief justice said that Karachi was a metropolitan city and that no country in the world could tolerate the destruction of its metropolitan city.
"We are seriously deliberating over Karachi's problems," replied the advocate general. "We are mulling over all the legal and constitutional angles. Cannot say anything decisive but a decision will be taken soon," he added.
The apex court ordered the NDMA to clean all drains in Karachi, directing the Sindh government to provide all the support it can to the authority.
"NDMA will look after encroachments and other matters, besides cleaning drains," remarked the bench.
"Sindh government should provide assistance to the NDMA," ordered the court.