There’s a discussion between the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) and the Sindhi Muslim Cooperative Housing Society (SMCHS) regarding the subleasing of plots on Shahra-e-Faisal. The allocation of 20-feet-wide pieces of land on both sides of Sharea Faisal towards the Sindhi Muslim Cooperative Housing Society (SMCHS) in 1957 has become a bone of argument ever since the Nasla Tower case has appeared.
The debate between the KMC and the SMCHS regarding the subleasing of plots, including the subleasing of the extra blocks of land allotted to the plots, facing towards Sharea Faisal, from the 20-feet-wide pieces of land.
The Sindhi Muslim Cooperative Housing Society (SMCHS) shared with The News the details of the 35 plots facing Sharea Faisal that were assigned additional land. They had never subleased the additional land to most of those plots on which high-rises have been established over the years
Plot No. A-193, in which the Nasla Tower is located, is between those plots. In June the Pakistan Supreme Court had ordered the tower’s demolition due to its illegal construction on a service road, telling the builders to return the registered buyers of the residential and commercial units in three months.
The chief commissioner of Karachi had assigned 20-feet-wide strips of land on both sides along the main Karachi-Malir Road (now Sharea Faisal) to the SMCHS on December 27, 1957.
According to the Supreme Court June order directing the incumbent city commissioner to demolish the Nasla Tower, Sharea Faisal was presented to be 280-feet-wide in 1950, but after the allotment (of the 20-feet-wide strips on both sides), it was decreased to 240 feet.
This extra area is claimed to have been allotted by the Sindhi Muslim Cooperative Housing Society (SMCHS) to the then plot owner of plot No. A-193. The area of the plot was allegedly expanded from 780 sq yds to 1,044 sq yds. “It is important to note,” reads the Supreme Court order, “that this additional 264 sq yds were not incorporated either in the real amended lease or in any subsequent lease deed.”
Sindhi Muslim Cooperative Housing Society (SMCHS) Secretary Shuaib Alam told The News that 34 other plots were granted more or less the same additional square yards and were never subleased by the society, as there was an argument between the housing society and the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC).
On February 19, 2010, the Sindhi Muslim Cooperative Housing Society (SMCHS) had more acceded transferring “excess/encroached” land of 77 sq yds to the Nasla Tower’s plot owner, making the plot’s full area 1,121 sq yds. This additional transfer also lacks a lease deed, and the Supreme Court has announced the additional 341 sq yds illegal.
The chief commissioner’s 1957 notification of the allotment of the alignment land also makes no mention of any supervision to allot the strip of land to any of the plot holders. The Sindhi Muslim Cooperative Housing Society (SMCHS) secretary thinks that back then the service road was unallotted, unutilized and unsurveyed. He says the society can transfer extra land to any plot owner, so the front plot owners of Shahra-e-Faisal were transmitted the additional 20-feet-wide strip.