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FWO told to restore North Nazimabad park to its original position

Oct 23, 2023

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court has directed the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) to vacate a park in North Nazimabad, restore it to its original position and sought a compliance report within four weeks.

A two-judge bench, headed by Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi, also warned that contempt proceedings would be initiated against FWO and delinquent officers if the needful was not done within the stipulated period.

At the outset of the hearing, Capt Mohammad Waleed Afzaal, project director of FWO undertaking Gujjar Nullah project, turned up along with a lawyer and filed a fresh undertaking.

It said that earlier, FWO had filed the report to vacate the park in first week of April, but due to unavailability of funds, construction material and overall economic situation, it could not be upheld, and apologised to the court.

"Furthermore, concrete batching from the plant will be stopped in three days and the subject place will be vacated in three weeks if the requested time may be granted by the honourable court", it concluded.

SHC warns FWO of contempt proceedings in case of non-compliance

The counsel for the petitioners, Sanaullah and Hamood-ur-Rehman, did not object to such request for more time to vacate the park, but submitted that a similar undertaking earlier given on behalf of FWO was not honoured.

Therefore, the lawyers requested that the instant undertaking/statement may be treated as part of court's order and in case of any violation thereof, it may render FWO/project director liable to be proceeded for contempt of court.

The bench allowed the request and treated the statement of FWO as part of its order and observed that use of the park as construction site by erecting batching plant and dumping huge construction material and machinery had created serious nuisance and environmental as well as traffic hazard to the petitioners and other residents of the area.

Whereas the respondents could not produce any permission or NOC from relevant authorities, therefore, FWO undertook before court to vacate the park and restore it to the same position which was recorded in the Jan 12 court order, it added.

However, the bench further noted that due to the reason as disclosed in the fresh statement, a short extension of time had been sought to vacate subject site.

"We do not intend to draw any adverse inference against respondent No.7 [FWO], whereas, keeping in view the fresh undertaking filed today in court, instant petition is disposed of, however, with an observation that if the needful is not done as stated in the aforesaid undertaking/statement, contempt of court proceedings will be initiated against respondent No. 7 and the delinquent officer(s), including the signatory of aforesaid undertaking/statement in accordance with law," it added.

The bench also directed the respondents to submit compliance of court order along with photographs of the subject park after restoring it to its original position through the member inspection team (MIT-II) of SHC within four weeks.

A petition was filed last year against FWO that a park, located in North Nazimabad Block L, had been encroached upon as the organisation had installed batching plants and dumped other construction material on the premises of park.

Published in Dawn, May 18th, 2023

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