The anti-encroachment drive under way to clear both sides of the Mehmoodabad Nullah in District East intensified on Saturday when the removal of all kinds of encroachments kicked off.
According to details shared by senior anti-encroachment director Bashir Siddiqui, the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) continued demolishing the portions of shops and houses that were illegally protruding over the road along the banks of the storm water drain, while houses whose occupants had been given additional few days to vacate were also razed.
A three-floor building along the nullah was demolished during the operation on Saturday. Two- to-three floor buildings illegally built on the land will be demolished now.
Around 180 houses are illegally protruding onto the road. Moreover, 57 of the houses will lose 30 to 40 per cent of the structure, but a few will be demolished completely. As for the construction of a road on both sides of the drain, enough space has been reclaimed after demolishing shops and houses for vehicles to pass through.
The KMC has been removing debris as they move forward. By the end of the operation, there will be at least 15 feet of space available for vehicles to ply the road on either side of the nullah. The operation had kicked off from Manzoor Colonyâs Fire Station, moving towards Bismillah Chowk and then to Awam Chowk, finally reaching near Mehmoodabad. A few residents were seen demolishing illegally protruding portions of their houses themselves to avoid major losses.
Meanwhile, on orders from KMC Administrator Laeeq Ahmed, another operation was carried out in District Central under the supervision of the KMC director for the district, Kamran Alvi.
As many as a five-kilometer area on both sides of the nullah, he said, had been cleared of encroachments by the end of the operation on Saturday. âIt will take another seven to eight days for the operation to completely end,â he said. âWe cannot use heavy machinery to demolish all heavy structures, as houses are very much joined with each other. We have no option but to use labouers to do the job by hand.â
As for the construction of a road, he said, the Frontier Works Organisation was already in the area and work had been started.
The operation was also carried out in Nazimabadâs Chandni Chowk area. Tables and chairs of tea shops, restaurants, which were illegally, placed on roads and footpaths were removed.