On day two of the second phase of the massive anti-encroachment operation for clearing both sides of the Mehmoodabad Nullah in District East, the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) continued demolishing the portions of shops and houses that were illegally protruding over the road.
KMC Anti-Encroachment Senior Director Bashir Siddiqui said on Tuesday that almost a kilometre of the five-kilometre bank of the storm water drain had been cleared of encroachments by the end of the operation on the second day.
Siddiqui said that some 180 houses are illegally protruding over the road. He said that some of them are encroaching a few inches of the road, while some of the others are protruding six to eight feet over it. âWe are targeting these houses in the second phase of the operation,â said the KMC official, adding that 57 of the houses will lose 30 to 40 per cent of the structure but a few will be demolished completely.
He said that the residents of such houses will be provided with alternative housing as announced by Sindh Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah during his visit to the locality on Sunday.
Siddiqui said that the residents of those houses have been asked to open bank accounts, so they can be provided with two years of house rent. Once the rent is transferred to their accounts, the KMC will start demolishing their houses, he added.
As for the 180 houses being targeted, he said that the process is time-consuming because they have to be very careful when using heavy machinery. âThe walls of the houses are connected with each other, so if we use heavy machinery, there can be a massive loss.â
The KMC official said they are using labourers to demolish the portions of a few houses. He pointed out that it would take another three days at the very least to complete the second phase.
As for the construction of a road on both sides of the drain, he said that enough space has been reclaimed after demolishing shops and houses for vehicles to pass through.
âWeâre removing debris as we move forward,â said Siddiqui, adding that by the end of the operation, there will be ample space for vehicles to ply the road on either side of the nullah. A little more than half a kilometre of the bank of the Mehmoodabad Nullah was rid of hard encroachments as the second phase of the operation started on Monday.
Six or seven houses were partially demolished, while the rest of the residents of the locality were told to vacate their homes in two or three days. Last weekâs four-day operation of the KMC saw the land on either side of the nullah cleared of all kinds of soft encroachments in the presence of a heavy contingent of police and other law enforcers.
Balconies of houses and other concrete structures were demolished along with the removal of soft encroachments such as cabins, kiosks, and tables and chairs of restaurants and tea shops, while the passage was cleared on both sides of the drain to make way for the KMCâs heavy machinery.
The KMCâs departments of anti-encroachment, Katchi Abadis, land, municipal services and city wardens took part in the operation on Monday that saw concrete structures razed in the locality.