Karachi: Reprimanding the Karachi commissioner over the slow progress of the demolition of Nasla Tower, Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed on Wednesday directed him to immediately demolish the illegal multi-storey building.
The Chief Justice was leading the court proceedings in the Supreme Court’s Karachi Registry in the demolition case of Nassa Tower.
CJP Gulzar Ahmed got tough on Karachi commissioner after he submitted the demolition report on Nasla Tower in Karachi.
CJP Ahmed asked the Karachi commissioner, “How many buildings have been demolished? How much work has been done? Tell us.”
The commissioner informed the court that the authorities have started the operation to demolish the Nasla Tower.
“Don’t lie,” replied the CJP angrily.
“Sir, please listen to me,” began the Karachi commissioner.
“Are you in your house now? Is that the way to speak in court?” Asked Justice Qazi Amin. “Don’t try to act smart,” he warned the commissioner.
“Sir, I am trying to demolish the building,” replied the commissioner.
The CJP then asked the Advocate General under which grade the Karachi Commissioner came under.
“He is a Grade-21 officer,” replied the Advocate General.
“Is this how a grade-21 officer speaks in court?” Asked CJP Ahmed.
“Sir, I am trying to convince you,” said the commissioner.
The CJP warned, “Stop trying. You will go straight to jail from here.” “We understand [the situation] but you’re not. You are just passing the time.”
The Chief Justice then remarked that the authorities had not even demolished the Vault Heights building.
“The demolition process of Vault Heights is underway,” replied the commissioner.
“If the operation is going on, submit the report with pictures on it by noon [as evidence]The Chief Justice replied.
Karachi commissioner says Nashla Tower demolition will be expedited
Soon after the hearing of the case was over, Karachi Commissioner Iqbal Memon reached Nasla Tower to oversee the demolition work.
Iqbal reached the spot along with several other officers and Assistant Commissioner Revenue and DC East.
“The demolition work of Nasla Tower has started,” the commissioner said. “It was put on hold as precautionary measures were not taken,” he said, adding that the apex court had issued orders to ensure that no lives were lost in the demolition process.
He revealed that work was going on on the 11th floor, while the 10th floor of the Nashla Tower was demolished. “The Supreme Court has directed me to expedite the demolition process. It will be done,” he said.
Memon said that the work of demolishing the tower from inside the building is going on. “The process of demolishing the tower from outside will start in the evening,” he said.
He said that the Nasla Tower would be brought down “the traditional way” through the use of machines and labour, adding that he was confused at first whether the building should be brought down through controlled detonation.
Demolition work dropped due to security reasons
The Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) on Monday commenced the pre-demolition work of Nasla Tower on the instructions of Karachi Commissioner Muhammad Iqbal Memon.
However, soon after the partial demolition work began, Firozabad Assistant Commissioner Asma Batool stopped it on the grounds of security concerns.
He had said that the demolition process has been put on hold for the time being in view of the safety concerns of the passers-by.
He had said that without proper safeguards, no demolition can take place as it may cause loss of human life. He said that after consultations with the higher authorities, the demolition work would resume.
Earlier, the anti-encroachment police of Sindh Board of Revenue laid siege to the building, following which the demolition squad of SBCA started pre-demolition work. District Eastern Deputy Commissioner Asif Jan Siddiqui told the media that the doors and windows of the tower are being removed. He had said that the anti-encroachment police have been called to maintain law and order in the area.
“Initially the windows, doors and other minor parts will be removed,” Siddiqui said, adding that no decision was taken with regard to float the tender for proper demolition of the building.