City News

Mehmoodabad Nullah cleared of soft encroachments on drive’s final day

On the fourth and final day of its four-day anti-encroachment operation on both sides of city’s Mehmoodabad Nullah, the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) on Thursday cleared all kinds of soft encroachments.

KMC Anti-Encroachment Senior Director Bashir Siddiqui, speaking to The News, said all kinds of soft encroachments, including sunshades, walls, iron grills, stairs, chairs and tables of tea shops, restaurants, cabins, kiosks and faulty parked vehicles, had been removed.

Debris from the area would be removed on Friday and Saturday to make a passage for heavy machinery for the demolition of hard encroachments from Monday, he said. Earlier, the operation had been postponed indefinitely on November 19 after residents of the Mehmoodabad neighbourhood had staged a massive and violent protest against the drive.

In the phase of the operation against hard encroachments, said Siddiqui, 20 per cent area of the 57 houses on both the sides of the storm water drain would be demolished. “The original width of the drain is 50 feet, around which the operation is being carried out. All the residents had been notified about the operation beforehand.”

Siddiqui said that earlier residents were informed that all their houses would be demolished, but now political stakeholders had been taken onboard and the operation on Monday would be carried out with proper planning.

In the seven-kilometre area of the Mehmoodabad Nullah, he pointed out, there were 57 houses whose 20 per cent area would be demolished. “However, three to four houses will be completely demolished.”

The National Disaster Management Authority has undertaken work to clear the Mehmoodabad Nullah from Manzoor Colony’s Fire Brigade Station to Korangi Road, along with the District East administration and the KMC. There are scores of houses on both sides of the 3.5-kilometre nullah that were majorly leased by the KMC itself, with a distance of 100, 150 and 200 feet from the bank of the drain. These houses had been notified as a Katchi Abadi of the corporation in 1987.

Apart from the Mehmoodabad Nullah, the KMC’s anti-encroachment department carried out an anti-encroachment operation around the Shamaa Palace in District South. Several pushcarts, cabins, stalls, kiosks, chairs and tables of tea shops and restaurants were removed from footpaths and roads.

Deputy Director Asif Jetha monitored the operation along with law enforcement agencies. Moreover, in District South’s Garden area, all kinds of encroachments were brought down.

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