KARACHI: Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed on Wednesday reprimanded Commissioner Karachi over the slow progress of demolition of Nasla Tower and directed him to ensure immediate demolition of illegal multi-storey building.
The Chief Justice was hearing the demolition case of Nasla Tower in the Supreme Court Karachi Registry.
After Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed submitted the demolition report of Nasla Tower in Karachi, the Commissioner Karachi was incensed.
The Chief Justice asked the Commissioner Karachi how many buildings have been demolished and how much work has been done.
The commissioner told the court that authorities had launched an operation to demolish the Nusla Tower.
“Don’t lie,” the Chief Justice replied angrily.
“Sir, please listen to me,” the Karachi commissioner began.
“Are you at home right now? Is that the way to speak in court?” Justice Qazi Amin asked. He warned the commissioner, “Don’t try to be careful.
“Sir, I am trying to demolish the building,” the commissioner replied.
The Chief Justice asked the Advocate General in which grade Commissioner Karachi falls.
“He is a Grade 21 officer,” the Advocate General replied.
Does a Grade 21 officer speak like this in court? Chief Justice Ahmed asked.
“Sir, I am trying to convince you,” said the commissioner.
“Stop trying, you will go straight to jail from here,” the Chief Justice warned. “We understand. [the situation] But you are not. You’re just passing the time, “he said.
The chief justice remarked that the authorities had not even demolished the Tejuri Heights building.
“The demolition of Tejuri Heights is in progress,” the commissioner replied.
If the operation continues, submit a report by noon with photographs. [as evidence]The Chief Justice replied.
The Karachi commissioner said that the demolition work of Nasla Tower would be expedited.
Shortly after the hearing of the case, Karachi Commissioner Iqbal Memon reached Nasla Tower to supervise the demolition work.
Iqbal arrived at the spot along with several other officers and Assistant Commissioner Revenue and DC East.
“The demolition of the Nesla Tower has begun,” the commissioner said. “It was stopped because no precautionary measures were being taken,” he said, adding that the Supreme Court had issued orders to ensure that no lives were lost in the demolition process.
He revealed that the 10th floor of the Nusla Tower had been demolished while work on the 11th floor was in progress. “The Supreme Court has directed me to expedite the demolition process,” he said.
Memon said work was underway to demolish the tower from inside the building. “The demolition of the tower from the outside will begin in the evening,” he added.
He said the Nesla Tower would be demolished “in the traditional way” using machines and laborers, adding that he was previously confused as to whether the building would be demolished by a controlled blast.
Demolition work halted due to safety concerns.
On the direction of Commissioner Karachi Muhammad Iqbal Memon, Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) started work on Monday before demolishing Nasla Tower.
However, soon after the partial demolition work began, Ferozabad Assistant Commissioner Asma Batool stopped it due to security concerns.
“The demolition process has been suspended for a while due to safety concerns of the residents,” he said, adding that large blocks fell on the road during the demolition of the building.
He said there could be no demolition without proper security measures as it could harm human lives. He further said that demolition work would be resumed after consultation with higher authorities.
Earlier, the anti-encroachment police of Sindh Board of Revenue cordoned off the building, after which the demolition squad of SBCA started work before demolition. District East Deputy Commissioner Asif Jan Siddiqui told the media that the doors and windows of the tower were being removed. He said anti-encroachment police had been called in to maintain law and order in the area.
“Initially, the windows, doors and other parts of the building will be removed,” Siddiqui said, adding that no decision has been taken to issue a tender for proper demolition of the building.