Islamabad - The Supreme Court yesterday ordered the federal and provincial governments to submit reports regarding allocation of funds in financial budgets for providing housing facilities to low-income class in the last 14 years.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Jawwad S Khawaja was hearing identical petitions against joint action of Capital Development Authority (CDA) and police in I-11 slum, Islamabad.

The bench said its orders of August 26 and August 31 will remain intact. “Until the next date of hearing no action adverse to the slums shall be taken,” said the orders.

The CJP questioned why the state institutions failed to enforce articles 9, 14, 25 and 38 of constitution in the last 42 years. “Tell us if you need 42 more years for ensuring basic rights of the people,” the Justice Jawwad asked from additional attorney general.

The court observed the poor of the country are also entitled to have basic and fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution as enjoyed by the president and prime minister. The court directed the federal and provincial governments that the report should include how much funds were allocated; what the targets were; and what is the success ratio.

It said after the submission of reports, appropriate order will be passed in accordance with the constitution.

Additional Attorney General Aamir Rehman submitted before the court that a national housing policy was made in 2011 while policy guidelines for Katchi Abadis were framed in 2001. He further said a scheme ‘Apna Ghar’ was launched in 2014.

Abid Hassan Manto, counsel for the petitioners, submitted that after filing this instant petition a lot of people, facing the same problems, approached him. He said the people in I-11 had been living for 20 to 30 years but now the CDA is saying that slums are illegal.

Justice Dost Muahammad asked about the officials who had approved these illegal slums. He continued that 20 percent dwellers of I-11 slum work at nearby fruits market and the weekly bazaars, while the rest work at the houses of the officials of CDA and police.

Manto replied the CDA recognised only two slums in Islamabad and the female members of those slum dwellers are working in the houses of CDA officers. He submitted reports on behalf of Tasneem Ahmed Siddiqui, a retired civil servant, on development of shelters for the residents of slums.

“This is a vital issue which is not properly addressed,” Justice Dost Muhammad Khan remarked adding if the government is unable to launch any scheme for the shelter-less people then the task can be assigned to two private housing companies which are expert in launching housing schemes. “There are some organisations which are expert in making 10 kanals from one kanal,” Justice Dost remarked.

During the hearing Additional Advocate General Balochistan, Ayyaz Swati told the court that there is no policy for slums in the province while Additional Advocate General Punjab Razaq A Mirza told that soon policy would be made for slums in the province.

The chief justice, however, told him that they need concrete steps for the welfare of the dwellers of the slums.

The hearing was adjourned till 21st September.