By ordering the demolition of fully built-up Nasla Tower in Karachi within a week, the Supreme Court has set an example that no encroachment will be tolerated. The decree is no doubt historic, but the occupants will be the ultimate sufferer in any case as they have little time to search for an alternate housing facility as well as compensation for their loss is doubtful. A policy was needed to be formulated for providing substitute place or refunding payments to the victims of china cutting, who were allured to invest their hard earned money in an illegally constructed tower. Another important issue is the action against all those authorities including the Sindh Building Control Authority that allowed the construction of a tower on a public place. Those who allowed illegal allotment of the plot need to be brought to justice before the demolition of the tower.
No doubt, it is a good decision to check the mushrooming growth of illegal constructions and usurpation of public places in Karachi, which has become a victim of land grabbers and encroachers. The increasing municipal lawlessness in the port city has been going on for decades. The SCBA has failed to check unregulated growth of commercial plazas and large-scale encroachments on various city roads in sheer violation of rules and regulations. Even public parks have become a victim of land grabbers’ lust. The Supreme Court’s intervention in matters of public interest is always welcome as it can check the growing lawlessness. It is high time that the authorities concerned remove all anomalies related to unchecked growth of illegal constructions. The government should enforce strict implementation of building code and ensure strong urban governance. The general public also needs to be careful while making any investment in such projects. Hopefully, the residents of Nasla tower will be compensated for their inconvenience, losses and expenses incurred to seek other places to live and damages for misrepresentation, fraud and failure to comply with rules and regulations of the city.