Construction stops in Karachi’s Tejori Heights over land dispute

SBCA had given NoC, PR contests ownership
Aug 26, 2019
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Tejori Heights is being built by Karachi Town Builders and Developers at main Sehba Akhtar Road in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Block 13D near Hasan Square. The plot measures 2,800 square yards. The project has 182 luxury apartments. Type A is 52 five-room apartments which cost Rs20 million each. The remaining 130 are four rooms and cost Rs13 million each. In March 2019, the Karachi Town Builders & Developers launched the project and started taking bookings. But soon after that, Pakistan Railways issued a circular that the project was “illegal”, as it was started on land that it said it owned. The PR and Pakistan Railways Employees Co-operative Housing Society both went to court claiming ownership of the land, saying that the builder had started construction illegally. The case was complicated further as Pakistan Railways said it owned the land and had given it to the Pakistan Railways Employees Cooperative Society on lease. Pakistan Railways lawyer Muhammad Sajjad Ahmed told Samaa Digital that PR had purchased 10 acres in Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Block 13D for Rs7.4 million in 1975 from the Karachi Development Authority. It had handed the land over to the PR Employees Cooperative Housing Society on lease in 1980 so it could make homes for railway employees. “The survey number of the land on which the Karachi Town Builders & Developers is constructing the residential project is 190 of Deh Gujro in the documents and the land belongs to Pakistan Railways,” said Sajjad Ahmed. Pakistan Railways is a “lessor” and Pakistan Railways Employees Cooperative Housing Society is a “lessee”. For their part, a representative of the PR Employees Cooperative Housing Society, Abdul Jabbar, said that they have filed a case (No: 540/91) against the Karachi Town Builders & Developers for using their land to build a residential project. Jabbar added that they have made the Pakistan Railways a party (or respondent) in the case as the federal organisation had cancelled the lease of the land. “In 1991, the Pakistan Railways cancelled the lease and breached the lease agreement by stating that the land was sought by it to build a railway station for the Karachi Circular Railway, when it was operational,” Jabbar said. “More than half of Pakistan Railways Employees Cooperative Housing Society lands are being encroached on by land grabbers,” he said. The ‘qabza mafia’ has already built residential projects on lands in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Block 10 and Depot Hill Railway Station near Shah Faisal Colony Bridge, he added. “The qabza mafia is so powerful that despite a stay order they start building,” he said. “This is happening with our lands as well.” The Pakistan Railways has issued a notice that the land of Tejori Heights was being questioned in the Sindh High Court (case No. 44/2005). It stated that the Sindh High Court has issued a stay order on construction and that people were cautioned against booking. At the Tejori Heights booking office a sales representative, Abdul Karim, said that they were taking no more applications and they had sold all units by June 30. Karim said that the project was “legal” as they have a No-Objection Certificate or permission to build from the Sindh Building Control Authority and an approved layout plan from the Master Plan Group of Offices. He admitted that construction had stopped due to the court case but hastened to add that it would resume in the next few months. Karachi Town Builders & Developers owner Javed Iqbal told Samaa Digital that they have all legal and authentic documents for the land. “We have satisfied our clients about the construction of the project,” the KT builder added. Iqbal said that the Pakistan Railways and its cooperative housing society had no legal documents. He added that the matter was in court and would be resolved soon. “Construction would be started soon, as we are searching for a good contractor, which would be finalised by next month or so.” Follow SAMAA English on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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