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The letter reads, “it has been brought to my knowledge that letter under reference has been issued by the Deputy District Officer (W&S) Korangi Division-I CGDK for illegally handing over of physical possession of plot no. ST-8/1, measuring 1.71 acres, Sector 26, Korangi Industrial Area, to a private party M/s Safe Mix Concrete Products (Pvt) Ltd Lahore, through manipulation in Record of Rights despite fact that a full-fledged government fire brigade station is functioning at the plot”.

The DCO directed the Executive District Officer (Revenue) to immediately cancel/withdraw the above letter ensuring that no such illegal transaction comes into effect in the Record of Rights.

Subsequently, EDO Revenue was appointed as enquiry officer vide letter No.DCO/CDGK/2006/870 dated November 18, 2006 by the DCO. However, in a strange twist, on November 22, 2006 DCO Fazlur Rahman issued a order No.DCO/CDGK/2006/891 stating “Due to a misunderstanding created through a note initiated by the Chief Fire Officer, CDGK and as corrected by the EDO (E&IP) vide his letter No.CDGK/EDO/E&IP/399/2006 dated 22 November 2006 in respect of plot no 8/1 measuring 1.71 acres sector 26 KIA”. Subsequently, the earlier issued order directing the EDO Revenue was withdrawn and the chief fire officer suspended from duty on November 22.

The handing over coincided with the submission of PC-1 for the up gradation of Korangi fire station and establishment of Fire Training School on this plot was under process, the well placed sources said.

A copy of the agreement between the city government and Safe Concrete Products signed by the DCO on behalf of the CDGK and representative of SMCP shows that CDGK invited bids for the setting up of a Batching Plant Facility to produce “ready mix concrete” on its land measuring two acres situated at Sector 26, Industrial Area. The project is to be known as “Public Private Partnership”. The entire agreement does not mention the plot number.

It only points out the SMCP would utilise a piece of land owned by CDGK measuring two acres situated at Sector 26, Industrial Area, Karachi and presently comprising what is known as “Korangi Asphalt Plant” for establishing on the land a batching plant facility.

Clause 20 of the agreement says “the functioning of the plant shall be environment friendly and SMCP shall ensure that minimum inconvenience, discomfort is caused to the surrounding population. The environment policy is to be followed as covered in the laws and regulations of Pakistan”. Such clauses pertaining to environmental concerns are blatantly flouted by an overwhelming number of industrial units.

The EDO Enterprise and Investment Promotion, Syed Hasan Naqvi when contacted by Dawn said that CDGK has given its land to a private party under public private partnership agreement and the fire station is located just behind the land in question.

He however, admitted that some controversy was generated when the DCO had cancelled the allotment letter and later restored it, but said that apart from this there was nothing more to it, and this was a simple PPP agreement, Mr Naqvi remarked. Despite repeated attempts to contact him, the DCO was not available for his version.

(By S. Raza Hassan, Dawn-17, 25/01/2007)


Illegal gas connections a bane

KARACHI, Feb 5: Illegal gas connections are becoming a menace in katchi abadis and slums of the city. Owing to a growing number of such connections, the problem of low pressure, especially during peak-use hours, is being faced by genuine consumers. Moreover, a high risk of fire is involved in the illegal activity as in most cases, safety standards are usually ignored while taking an extra connection from a legal one.

It has been observed that most of the households in under-developed localities of the city have illegal gas connections largely because a property-owner would provide extra connections to his one, two or even more tenants from the single line provided to one family. This illegal arrangement is made obviously to save the amount charged by the gas utility for providing a separate meter to each household.

On the other side, this menace creates problems for genuine gas consumers. “We have been complaining to the SSGC officials about the low gas pressure in our locality for long and they would always assure us of remedial measures. However, nothing has been done in this regard,” complained residents of Raja Tanveer Colony and Toori Bangash Colony.

(Dawn-15, 06/02/2007)

Milk crisis evades resolution

KARACHI: Around more than a month has gone by but milk prices have not ceased to fluctuate, causing intense crisis in the milk market, and leaving consumers to bear the brunt.

The city government and consumers seem to lay the blame on the retailers, but the retailers and wholesalers have in turn passed the buck on to the dairy farmers, the main suppliers of milk in town.

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