KARACHI   -  Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar has appealed to Prime Minister Imran Khan that the issue of the residents of Martin, Cleyton, Jahangir Road, Garden East & West and Pakistan Quarters should be solved on the basis of equality as 575 katchi abadies and 26,632 goths were given 99 years lease and ownership rights in the past.

He said this while addressing a press conference in his office on Friday along with members of MQM Rabita Committee Syed Arshad Hassan, Khalid Sultan, Zahid Mansoori and City Council Parliamentary Leader Aslam Shah Afridi and Chairperson Media Management Committee Sabheen Ghori whereas residents of above localities in question were also present on this occasion.

The mayor said that we have asked the prime minister to constitute a committee under the chairmanship of Governor of Sindh having non-MPAS, non- MNAs and non-Senators of all the members of the political parties who are permanent citizens of Karachi.

The task of the committee may be to hear the association of the retired government servants and other affectees and decide the case once for all to the satisfaction of the agonized retired government servants, their widows and children.

He said besides this we are also reviewing the legalities in this matter to pursue this in the Supreme Court. MQM Coordination Committee was also stands with us on this issue in the larger interest of the people and we have pledged to raise our voice on this issue at all levels.

He said that this being a human issue as nearly 7000, Government Employees on migration were allotted, hurriedly constructed tin-roofed residential quarters rather hutments by the Federal Government, in and around, Garden East and Garden West and almost all the distressed employees, even after serving the Government on attaining the superannuation age (on retirement) continue to occupy these quarters. Since these quarters were never maintained by any Government agency, the occupants themselves maintained these crumbling structures after spending huge amount annually in the hope that Government would transfer these quarters to them or to their widows and children.

He said on receiving notices from the Estate Department Govt of Pakistan to vacate these quarters by us, they submitted a petition to Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto – the President of Pakistan who approved it and directed to build descent multi-storeyed building for these people in Karachi and elsewhere. The Federal Cabinet in its meeting in 1989 resolved that the on the report of the Ministry of Housing and Works, on the inhabitants of the government quarters should not be disturbed from their present dwellings It was further resolved that the Minister of Housing visit the site to examine the possibility of construction of new quarters on the 11 acres, while the present inhabitants can be given ownership rights of the dwellings under their use.

He said again in a meeting held on 28th September 2004, under the chairmanship of the then Prime Minister, it was resolved to construct four-storey apartments for the residents/occupants of the government quarters. Strange phenomena have occurred which is rather disturbing. Adjoining our residential Quarters, 148 Quarters of Patel Para were notified as Katchi Abadi for regularisation in 1986.

The mayor said now when encroachers on government land, parks and other amenity plots on the orders of the honourable Supreme Court of Pakistan, are being removed, a party with force came to Pakistan Quarters on 23rd October 2018 and threatened to demolish our Quarters. However, after negotiation with the demolition Party and convincing the demolition squad that we were not encroachers, rather the quarters had been built by the Federal Government to accommodate us the Chief Justice of Pakistan suspended the operation against the occupants of Pakistan Quarters and other quarters for three months. 

He said our contention is substantiated by the fact that In Sindh, 1400 Kutchi Abadis including 575 in Karachi, established by the encroachers on government and municipal land have been regularized and the occupant encroachers have been granted permanent ownership rights. Such orders of regularization were issued on the orders of the then Prime Minister in 1985 and also by the Pakistan Peoples Party’s Government in 2016.

It is worth mentioning that five hundred seventy-five Kutchi Abadis regularized in Karachi are spread over fifteen thousand acres of Government and Municipal land.  Similarly, under the Gothabad Scheme, the Government of Sindh conferred proprietary rights upon those occupants who had established Goths on government land without any authorization. By 1999, 26,632 unauthorized Goths established on government land had been regularized.  The ownership, of the plots over which these quarters for government servants were built, is not determined.

He said the flats for these retired government servants which were to be constructed, could not be constructed as Government could find funds amounting to more than Rs.1000 million.

In past the central Government time to time acquire the land from KMC for their specific purposes as well as the construction / establishment of their employees’ quarters. Admeasuring near about 40 acres approximately (193600 S. Yrds) of land was acquired by the Central Government from KMC for establishment of Martin & Clayton Quarters and Jahanghir Quarters from pre-partition the land situated on either side of Jahanghir Road upto Gorumandir. At present the ownership of Martin & Clayton Quarters and Jahanghir Quarters rests with the Federal Government and their employees are residing there. 07 No’s of Katchi Abadies are also established in between these Quarters, and had been regularized for 99 years leases which are Usmania Mahajir Colony, Meharabad Colony,Al Najaf Colony,,Ganj-e-Shakar Colony, Bahadur yar jung shops,Dad Muhammad Village (Baloch Para) and Bihar Colony whereas the Revenue Department Government of Sindh also issuing leases for 99 Years to Ejaz Colony and Patel Para.

He said 575 unauthorized kutchi Abadi spread over 15000 acres of land having about 250,000 families have been regularized and ownership has been bestowed upon the encroachers and the Government had almost decided to declare 148 quarters under Kutchi Abadi of Patel-Para, and only suspended the operation due to our protest.

He said thousands of unauthorised Goths (villages) on State land have been regularised and granted ownership rights then why the katcha quarters built for the government servants built in 1948-49 could not be transferred to the occupants including the widows and their children of the retired government servants as done in the case of the encroachers of katchi abadis.