Customs to contest KDA for demolishing Customs Appraisement Club
KARACHI: The Karachi Development Authority (KDA) had demolished larger part of the Customs Appraisement Club, Aziz Bhatti Park, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi, claiming that the club had been built on amenity plot. Pakistan Customs is exploring all options to initiate befitting legal action against the ostensibly high handed and illegal action of the Karachi Development Authority (KDA). According to the Incident Report furnished to Member Customs (Operations) of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Collector MCC Appraisement East noted that on Monday, Deputy Collector (HQ) received a call from the assistant manager of Appraisement Club, Aziz Bhatti Park who informed that the anti-encroachment officers of Karachi Development Authority (KDA) along with officials of district administration and local police, had started demolishing the club on the grounds that it was illegally built on amenity plot. Deputy Collector (HQ) was directed to immediately approach the site along with available documents and approach the concerned authorities to stop the demolition. DC (HQ) informed that the lease approval documents, possession letter and the other relevant documents duly issued by the KDA in 1972 were presented to the KDA authorities on-site, including Dildar, Director (KDA) as well as to the district administration officers but they refused to consider any of these documents as proving legal ownership of the land/building by Pakistan Customs Officers Club. The relevant authorities were also asked to provide any order for demolition or copy of any advance notice served on the club in this regard. However they plainly refused to provide any order and informed that this was being done on the orders of the Apex Court. They were also requested to provide the copy of the order of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, which they failed to provide. The Chief Collector (Appraisement-South) also took up the matter with Commissioner Karachi, who did not deny the legal validity of the documents but stated that the same were issued illegally and shall be withdrawn/cancelled. Meanwhile, the operation continued till late night and the building was demolished. Collector Ashad Jawwad has requested the Director General KDA to provide copies of notices and orders etc., based on which the action of demolition was taken.[the_ad id="31605"] The Club served as a place of sports activities of the Customs employees and their families. It had squash court, tennis court and other sports and games facilities. It may be mentioned here that when the lease of the plot was granted for the Customs Club, it was a condition that the building would be constructed in two years. Therefore, a large amount of money had been spent on the construction and development of the club.