LAHORE: A full bench of the Supreme Court (SC), adjudicating upon different petitions against illegal buildings, granted two weeks to the Punjab chief secretary (CS) to chalk out an action plan to regulate construction of high-rise buildings in Punjab.

The bench comprising Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday, Justice Faqir Muhammad Khokhar and Justice Syed Sakhi Hussain Bokhari observed illegal constructions could not be allowed and a comprehensive building construction policy should be made for the purpose. Justice Ramday remarked they would be proud even if 4,000-foot buildings were constructed, but the developers must ensure water supply, parking and security of the inhabitants of the buildings.

Referring to the collapse of a building in Gujranwala last month, the bench observed all responsible people concerning the incident should be dealt with iron hands. Those who play with the lives of people deserve no mercy, the bench held.

Example: The bench observed an authority had been formed in Karachi to deal with the high-rise buildings and the example could also be followed in Punjab. The constructions should be streamlined and no one should be allowed to construct buildings without basic facilities, the bench said.

The authorities should keep a stern check on the illegal constructions, the bench observed, adding that they should not demolish the residences of only the poor, but should deal similarly with all the illegally constructed high-rise buildings. The bench observed the authorities should check its own officials too who were involved in approving illegal constructions.

Initially, the bench took up the petition of one Farooq Hamid, who had complained against the construction of a plaza adjacent to his house in Gulberg. The full bench had taken suo motu notice of the high-rise buildings in 2006 and its bench headed by Justice Ramday had fined various plazas and had also ordered the demolition of various others.

Punjab CS Javed Mahmood, Lahore Development Authority (LDA) Director General Shahid Mahmood, principal legal adviser of LDA Salman Butt, and others appeared in the court on Tuesday. Lahore Nazim Mian Aamir could not appear for being out of the country.

The CS informed the court that the government was serious in taking action against illegal constructions. He requested the court to give time to work out an action plan in this regard, which would be to the satisfaction of the court. He said some recommendations in this regard were under preparation.

Source: Daily Times