The Supreme Court on Wednesday observed that neither the Sindh government nor the local government is working on removing the encroachments from the port city, directing the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to clean up all the nullahs in Karachi and remove encroachments along them. A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed, issued these directives while hearing a petition related to encroachments on nullahs in the provincial metropolis. Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani presented a report in the court over operations undertaken by the authorities against encroachments. However, the court expressed dissatisfaction with the report and instead lambasted the Sindh and local governments over lack of progress. The report said that Karachi has 38 major nullahs and 514 small nullahs which are under the control of the DMCs. The commissioner told the court that the NDMA is working on cleaning only three major nullahs of the city. The commissioner told the court that people had been living on land encroached on the mullahs for the last ten years. The top judge remarked that the Sindh government is a ‘complete failure’. “Sindh government has done nothing for the people. You did nothing in the last 20 years,” CJP Gulzar Ahmed remarked. He added that neither the Sindh government nor the local government is working on removing the encroachments. To this, the Sindh advocate general intervened and informed the court that when the government goes to remove the encroachments, people start ‘attacking’ them. He added that a ‘law and order situation’ gets created. “This is the writ of your government? Where is the writ of the government in Karachi?” asked the CJP. He remarked that the city is full of sewerage water and people walk on streets by placing stepping stones on the water. Justice Faisal Arab also expressed his disappointment with the state of affairs in the province, deploring that people have to approach the courts for water and electricity. “There is a mafia operating here. There is no law,” said the CJP, adding that ‘complete government machinery’ is involved in how the situation is in the province. During the hearing, the attorney general of Pakistan informed the court that the federal government is closely looking into the matters of Karachi. “We are looking at all constitutional and lawful options,” the attorney general informed the court. He added that Karachi is a metropolitan city and no one can see its metropolitan city being ‘destroyed’. “I cannot give my final word on Karachi but a decision will be made soon,” the attorney general told the court. “The entire city is filled with filth and sewerage water,” said the chief justice angrily. “Mosquitoes, flies and germs are everywhere. People are walking on stones [to cross sewerage water],” he added. “In two months, Haji Lemo Goth will be cleared,” the advocate general told the court. “How many years has it been since you have been in power?” asked the top judge. “This is our commitment towards you,” responded the provincial government’s lawyer. “Your commitment should be with the people. But what have you done with them?” retorted Justice Gulzar. “The situation is bad from Karachi to Kashmore. Wherever one goes, the situation is the same,” he added. He asked the advocate general about the public-private partnership boards set up at Sindh’s highways. “What is this? We can’t allow such work to be carried out. How can you award a contract to someone else?” wondered the chief justice. “There is total destruction and that Sindh government has totally failed,” he added. “Rulers are the only ones who are enjoying themselves,” said the chief justice. “This is turning into a province of total anarchy. Who will rectify the province? Do we ask the federal government to rectify the province,” asked the chief justice. “Who will provide the people with their basic rights?” he asked. Justice Faisal Arab lamented that people have to move the court to avail basic facilities such as water and power. “I belong to this province as well but look at the situation here,” he said. Talking about the dismal state of affairs in the province, the chief justice said that mafias are operating in the city and that there is no rule of law in the province. “The entire government machinery is involved [in Karachi’s deteriorating situation] including the bureaucrats,” said Justice Gulzar. “Millions of rupees are being earned, illegal documents get registered,” he added. The apex court then ordered the NDMA to clean all drains in Karachi, directing the Sindh government to provide all the support it can to the authority.