Another stay order sought against Clifton underpasses, flyover

* SHC directs Bahria Town MC, KMC high-ups to submit comments today

KARACHI: Despite getting a green signal from the Sindh High Court (SHC), the two underpasses and a flyover that are to be built in front of Abdullah Shah Ghazi’s shrine, AT Naqvi Chowk and Park Towers are faced with a new threat, in the form of another stay order petition.As per reports, Karachi Metropolitan Corporation’s (KMC) project of two underpasses and a flyover, which is funded by the Bahria Town, has got permission to resume construction work after a stay order of the SHC on a petition submitted by the Defence Housing Authority (DHA). However, in a recent development, another petition has been filed by a certain Wakash Kumar, stating that the construction work can destroy the 150-year-old Hindu temple located adjacent to the Bin Qasim Park.The petitioner has stated in his application that the ongoing construction work is also creating inconvenience for daily visitors. The passage of the temple has been dug out, creating hurdles for the worshipers. In his plea Kumar states that the construction of a flyover and underpasses could also destroy the old building of the temple. He claims that the project is also creating difficulties for the citizens of Clifton, and requested an immediate stay order on construction.It this regard, the SHC has issued notices to the officials concerned, including Bahria Town MC and KMC high-ups, while directing them to submit their comments on April 17 (today). The SHC has also linked the plea with the ongoing hearings on the petition of DHA, but has not accepted the request for a stay order so far. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a representative of the Bahria Town told Daily Times that all work has been initiated after required approvals. “The temple will not suffer any damage,” he said, adding that they have successfully acquired permission from the SHC to resume work. He admitted that till the competition of work on the project everyone will face inconvenience, and not only the visitors of the temple. However, once the project is completed, it will facilitate the temple visitors as well. The SHC had on April 2 issued a stay order of 10 days on the construction work, over DHA’s petition, but it was suspended by a division bench of the court on an appeal filed by the private builder that challenged the stay order. Appellant’s counsel Faiz H Shah stated in the appeal that the construction of the flyover and underpass was originated by the KMC for the citizens, and was a long-pending issue on the government files. The counsel submitted that the appellant had lodged its Bahria Town Icon project and offered the KMC to exclusively finance the said project, which was, after adopting all formalities, approved by the KMC. Officials of the Bahria Town and KMC jointly stated before the judges that the condition at the site was very dangerous due to massive digging and excavation work and it was necessary to complete the work prior to the onset of monsoon season, otherwise all citizens will suffer.

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