KARACHI - Government is only catching small fish in the anti-encroachment drive while not netting the big sharks and whales of the land mafia, who have erected dozens of posh societies, bungalows, plazas, mansions and markets over the land of parks, playground and amenity plots of the megacity, including landmark Hill Park and kidney Park, said Pasban e Pakistan President Altaf Shakoor here Monday.

He said the corrupt officials of notorious Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA), Karachi Development Authority (KDA), Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), District Municipal Corporations, Cantonment Boards, Sindh Katchi Abadi Authority, Malir and Lyari Development authorities, Pakistan Railways, KMC, Steel Mills, KWSB and other departments have minted trillions of rupees by letting people encroaching upon the government lands.

He said now when the apex court has ordered to clear the encroachments, these same corrupt officials are selectively targeting the poor and low-income blue collar localities, while they are shying away from netting the big fish of land mafia. He said precious lands of parks and playgrounds in the megacity are occupied not by the poor people but the rich and influential elite. He said the land of scenic Kidney Park in the heart of the city is not occupied by the poor vendors, but the super rich and influential people have made posh colonies by erected lavish mansions and bungalows over this precious amenity land.

Altaf Shakoor said big portions of lands in Safari Park, Jheel Park, Hill Park, Aziz Bhatti Park, Guttur Baghicha Park and dozens of other parks are occupied by influential land mafia. He said lands of vital Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) are also occupied which should be retrieved on priority.

He demanded to establish a commission to oversee the implementation on the orders of the Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar, and this important matter should not be left on the mercy of corrupt KDA, KMC and SBCA. He said even-handed action should be taken against the encroachments as selective razing of illegal structures would result in a law and order situation.