SHC asks about actual area of Chowkandi graveyard


KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday directed Culture & Heritage department to inform it the actual covered area of heritage Chowkandi graveyard within 15 days.

SHC bench headed by Justice Irfan Saadat was hearing a petition filed by NGO Raah-e-Rast Trust who moved the court seeking preservation of the historic graveyard located near National Highway, Karachi.

On Monday’s hearing, survey superintendent appeared before the court and informed it that the graveyard covers up 25.4 acres land which was opposed by the petitioner’s counsel. According to the petitioner, the historical heritage site is spread over 57 acres of land.

The court directed culture & heritage department resolve the issue regarding the area of heritage Chowkandi graveyard and furnish the report within 15 days.

The petitioner submitted that Chowkandi graveyard was built from 15th to 18th century and it has been declared as historical heritage. It is a family graveyard of Jhokio tribe and some other Baloch tribes are also buried in it.

Raah-e-Rast Trust submitted that the present condition of the graveyard is very dilapidated and it lacks proper boundary walls. “The people from the surroundings have removed the stones and bricks from original structures to use them for decorating their houses or shops”, the trust submitted.

According to the petitioner, some part of the graveyard has been encroached by the influential people who are using it for the commercial purpose.

Citing Culture & Heritage department, Malir Development Authority and others as respondents, the Raah-e-Rast trust prayed to the court to direct the respondents to look after and maintain the most precious and important heritage.

The court was further requested to direct the respondents to remove the encroachments from the land which is reserved for the Chowkandi graveyard.