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Appearance of Karachi changed by commercializing residential areas and localities. SC

Supreme Court (SC) on Friday remarked that the visual appearance of Karachi has been changed by commercializing residential areas and localities.

A larger bench of the apex court’s Karachi Registry heard the petition of the Korangi Marriage Halls Association against the demolition of marriage halls in the Korangi crossing area.

A day before, the SC had ordered immediate demolition of all illegal marriage halls in the port city.

The counsel for the association, Anwar Mansoor Khan, prayed that the laws of the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) allowed the conversion of the residential plots into commercial ones.

The larger bench reserved its decision on the petition and directed the counsel to submit arguments in writing.

Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan remarked that the master plan of cities across the world is made only once and does not change. He added that cities remain as they are, but rules here are such that one can commercialize areas at will and in this way, the appearance of residential areas change.

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed said that the entirety of Defence Housing Authority (DHA) has been commercialized.

On April 8, Advocate Anwar Mansoor Khan prayed that “the SBCA (Sindh Building Control Authority) should be stopped from demolishing the wedding halls. People do not like to live right on the roadside, that is why the strip has been commercialized”.

The CJP remarked that was an assumption and it does not mean that everything should be commercialized. SBCA had no authority to do so, the chief justice added.

Addressing the Karachi commissioner, the chief justice said that marriage halls were being constructed all over Karachi. “Most of the marriage halls were built on welfare plots. Go and demolish illegal marriage halls.”

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