illegal properties in Karachi
Image Source: Deccan Chronicles

The economic hub of Karachi is a melting pot where people from all over Pakistan come to settle in hopes of a better career and consequently, a better life. But as this population grows, so does the need for more infrastructure to support them. This is why you see the high rise, low-rise, bungalows, goth, literally every type of infrastructure on the horizon. These sudden constructions; are all of them authorized though? If not, who in Karachi, is really suffering thanks to the illegal properties?

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Case of illegal properties in Karachi

The famous cases include the Pavilion’s End Club and now, Nasla Tower. It was revealed to the public that these dwellings have been made on illegal lands. As for the Pavilions End Club, it demolition meant people being kicked out of jobs, but with Nasla tower, it meant that people will be out on the streets.

Nasla tower
Image Source: Dawn

As the conversation sparked about these illegal constructions, new revelations were made. According to these revelations, there were numerous other old buildings that have existed for such a long time that one would not even imagine them to be illegal.

Since now people are finally taking action against the illegal buildings, the old ones will be on the radar as well. This is indeed good because, with those establishments, the upkeep of the city was getting hindered. Or at least, it is one of the reasons. Regardless, the point to consider now is, “What about the people living in these buildings?

Who is suffering?

They bought the houses they live in to become proud owners of properties in the expensive Karachi. Some of them poured in all of their savings, while others took loans from banks. The developers took that money once the project was completed and left the arena. They profited a hundred percent from the project that started because of them. And when the court passes the order of demolition, the residents are promised a certain amount which is not remotely near the price they paid to buy the property in the first place. Almost 50 or more than 50 percent of their money is irrecoverable and the compensation they get is not enough to get them decent accommodation at least in this city.

illegal buildings in karachi
Image source: Dialogue Pakistan

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It is clear, who is suffering but the question that emerges is, why is it that when the establishment is fully-constructed with all of its portions sold out that the authorities take notice? Why is it not that when the builders start construction to woo potential customers that the authorities do not see the bricks being laid? Why is it the residents putting up protests to not be kicked out and not the developers hoping to make profits? And why is it that even after the authorities getting active, every other day we hear about even more illegal properties in Karachi appearing?

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