SC in action over issues in Karachi


From Zeeshan Mirza

KARACHI: The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday ordered the removal of all advertising billboards from all over the port city.
An apex court bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed, heard a case pertaining to the illegal installation of billboards on public and private properties as well as roads across the metropolis.
The hearing comes days after a video clip went viral showing two motorcyclists hit and injured by a billboard during heavy rainfall in the city. Taking notice of the incident, Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Ali Shalwani had ordered the immediate removal of billboards.
During Monday’s hearing, the CJP took the commissioner to task over the mushrooming of billboards across the city. Billboards have been put up everywhere in the city, he remarked. “See buildings on Shahrah-e-Faisal, there are unending advertisements,” he said, wondering how people will be living in these buildings.
The commissioner said that people have been exploiting public properties in the city and claimed there is a mafia behind all this. The bench directed Shalwani to take action against all those behind the installation of billboards in violation of laws.
CJP Gulzar said it is up to the government to ensure the implementation of building plans and lamented that there is no such thing as government and law in the province. He slammed the Sindh government and local bodies for what he described as “enmity” against Karachi over various instances of misgovernance. “The Sindh government has enmity with this city, as do the local bodies,” remarked the CJP.
The CJP remarked that if Mayor Karachi Waseem Akhtar claims that he does not have the powers to work, “he should go home”.