KARACHI: The Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) on Thursday sealed a private school building after declaring it “illegal” in Karachi’s Gulshan-e-Iqbal vicinity, forcing students onto the streets. The building was reportedly built in violation of rules and without the SBCA’s approval. According to the school’s administration, the authorities had given no prior notice before taking action. The SBCA swung into action after a resident of the vicinity complained that they were facing prolonged traffic jams during school drop-off and pick-up hours. The school’s staff and more than a 100 students were forced to wait on the adjoining footpath while authorities completed their task. A student became unconscious while waiting outside the premises. Earlier this year, the Anti-Encroachment Cell (AEC) carried out an operation against illegal encroachments in the city to clear roadsides from Landi Kotal Chowrangi to Five-Star Chowrangi. Numerous people and traders who protested against the operation were taken into custody. The Supreme Court, in February, had chided the Sindh government for failing to get thousands of amenity plots cleared of illegal encroachments in the city. The apex court had expressed annoyance at the Karachi Development Authority (KDA) for failing to clear public recreational places of illegal encroachments and ‘china cutting’ (illegal carving). A report submitted by the KDA in this regard was rejected. The KDA had informed the Supreme Court earlier that 35,000 amenity plots in the city had been taken over through ‘china cutting’. It was also disclosed that KDA land worth over Rs 1 trillion was illegally occupied. Published in Daily Times, August 10th 2018.