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Authorities continue anti-encroachment drive along Gujjar Nullah for second day

Heavy machinery busy in demolishing encroachments established along the Gujjar Nullah during anti-encroachment campaign under the supervision of Karachi Municipal Corporation (KMC), located on Cafe Pyala Gulberg area of Karachi on Wednesday, September 2, 2020. Photo: PPI

Authorities in Karachi started the anti-encroachment drive along the Gujjar Nullah for a second day, reported Geo News.

The authorities started today’s encroachment drive from Gulberg area which led to protests by the residents of the area including, women and children. The protestors have blocked the road which affected the traffic flow from Water Pump to Sakhi Hasan.

On Wednesday, the District Central administration removed more than 100 “soft encroachments” over the Gujjar Nullah that had blocked the stormwater drain due to which surrounding areas were inundated during the recent torrential rains in the city.

District Central Deputy Commissioner Bux Dharejo told The News that the authorities carried out the operation on three strips: from Nala Stop to Cafe Piyala, to the Ziauddin Hospital and to Lyari.

He said that a total of 105 illegal soft encroachments not involving residential units that were put up on the drain were removed by the district administration. Police escorted them to ensure a smooth run of the operation.

Dharejo said the administration has collected data of houses and commercial units illegally built on the nullah. He added that this data collection will continue until its completion.

He said the data will be sent to the Sindh government for the relocation of the people who will be affected by the operation before their houses or shops are demolished.

This is the ninth operation at the Gujjar Nullah, which is around 15 years old.

In 2018 a major operation was carried out and 2,900 illegal structures were removed. Then Karachi mayor Wasim Akhtar had supervised the operation.

A high-level meeting was held seven years ago, when Fazlur Rehman was the Sindh chief secretary, to discuss encroachments. In that meeting, heated arguments had taken place among the MNAs and MPAs of that time.

Rehman had ended the meeting, telling everyone to end their conflicts first. Then Muttahida Qaumi Movement leader Dr Farooq Sattar had said that according to the dictionary, encroachments were illegal, and had demanded alternative land for those affected by the anti-encroachment operation.

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