KARACHI - The confusion continued to prevail till Saturday evening as to whether the marriage halls of the city would be opened or not as All Marriage Halls Association announced going on strike on Sunday over Sindh Building Control Authority’s decision to take action against marriage halls after the orders of apex court.

 All Marriage Halls Association Karachi General Secretary Khwaja Tariq said that they were assured by the minister that he would not carry out the demolition drive scheduled from Monday and would resign from his post if it is carried out on court orders.

“The minister said that they would take action against unapproved/illegal halls,” he said.

Tariq said that they had also asked the minister to not demolish the unapproved halls immediately and give at least 30 days to them to ensure events there that have booked earlier.

Earlier, All Marriage Halls Association (AMHA), Karachi on Saturday also staged a protest demonstration at University Road outside the Sindh Building Control Authority headquarter. The protesters, mostly owners of wedding halls, blocked the road leading to the old vegetable market area, resulting in a massive traffic jam on one side of University Road.

The protesters said that SBCA issued notices of three days to 50 percent marriage halls of district East and Central of the Karachi, the notices stated that marriage halls and other any other establishment carried out or running their respective commercial business on amenity plots or residential plots or converted plots on the basis of either by way of any approval, NOC of any respective concerned authority including Master Plan Department (Defunct MPGO), defunct KBCA now SBCA, KDA, KMC, BOR, Co-operative Societies, Katchi Abadies Authorities etc or carried out without NOCs (including Malir River Bed, Road reservations) are informed that as per the orders of the Honourable  Supreme Court of Pakistan in above referred case, all the plots and lands are required to be restored to its original land use for which the piece of land was designated in the original approved land use, zonal, layout plan.

Therefore in the light of the orders of the Honorable Supreme Court of Pakistan, all approvals, NOC for change of land use / construction permits, completion plans, occupancy Certificates, NOC for Sale and Advertisement, permission to sublease or any other NOC issued by the Master Plan Department (Defunct MPGO), defunct KDA I defunct Architect Control KDA, KMC or SBCA are liable to be cancelled as withdrawn.

The protesters demanded that Sindh Building Control Authority to revert its notice on immediate basis to take action against marriage halls.  President of AMHA Rana Raees Ahmed while talking to media said that the marriage halls were functional since long decade, adding that the mostly marriage lawns/halls were established after fulfill the all legal formalities required by state departments. “The owners of marriage halls were paying million of rupees tax for national exchequer. Raees Ahmed said that if concerned authority will not take back its notice then the association has decided to go on strike and marriage halls will shut for booked programs on Sunday.”

Later, Provincial Minister for Local Government Saeed Ghani called the officer bearers of All Marriage Halls Association, Karachi for negotiations at his office, where after long hours negotiations between the minister and office bearers of AMHA, the association decided to take back its call of strike after assurance by Minister Local Government.