Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar announced on Saturday that his city administration will not implement the Supreme Court’s orders of demolishing residential buildings and marriage halls in the city.
Addressing a news conference, he said these buildings were not among encroachments but an issue of subleasing the land. However, illegally-built marriage halls will be razed, he added.
Akhtar also made an appeal to the Sindh government to stop implementing court orders pertaining to demolishing 500 buildings including marriage halls in the city.
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM-P) leader said the provincial government must file a petition in the top court to review its decision of razing further 500 buildings in the port city, Express News reported.
Akhtar said the city administration had successfully implemented the top court’s directives on demolishing encroachments on public footpaths and nullahs. “However, now I humbly request the Sindh government to stop implementing court orders on razing 500 buildings … the chief justice of Pakistan should also review the court orders in this regard,” he added.
The top court has also ordered demolishing marriage halls, where citizens have already made bookings for their children’s weddings, said the mayor, adding that the orders will not be carried out until alternative land is provided to the owners. “If 525 slums and goth schemes can be regularised then why can’t this issue be resolved?” he questioned.
Meanwhile, wedding hall owners in Karachi have announced a strike starting from Sunday, thereby canceling all events scheduled for the day. They staged a protest demonstration outside the Sindh Building Control Authority against the government’s decision of declaring legal commercial wedding venues illegal.
On the occasion, venue owners and their employees chanted slogans, threatening to halt operations in the city. During the protest, owners raised their concerns over the government granting them a total of three days to relocate their venues.
Authorities upon the directives of the Supreme Court have speed up the process of eliminating wedding halls situated on commercial plots and are initiating an operation against it starting January 28.
The apex court on January 24 ordered razing of all the marriage halls built on Karachi’s Shahrae Faisal and Rashid Minhas Road, besides cinemas, plazas and other commercial establishments built in cantonment areas. The order was part of a larger directive to end all commercial activities from military lands in the port city.