KMC says anti-encroachment operation on Gujjar Nullah to take three months

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Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) officials said that the anti-encroachment operation on Gujjar Nullah will take three months to complete, however, the survey of more than 3,000 residential units along the drain has been completed

This was stated by KMC Anti-Encroachment Director Bashir Siddiqi and District Central Deputy Commissioner Mohammed Bux Dharejo as they maintained that the survey was the first requirement of the anti-encroachment operation – after which the second and third phases of the operation would begin.

Explaining that the ongoing operation was only targeting soft encroachments to avoid any kind of law and order issue as the residents along the nullah had been living there since long, he said that currently only structures for commercial purposes were being demolished as the government had ordered them not to knock down any house.

He added that the operation that was being carried out is in compliance with Supreme Court orders.

The two officials further said the nullah had to be widened to its original width that was more than 100 feet, adding that as per the strategic plan to widen the drain, roads would be constructed on both sides of it to ensure that no encroachments could be set up there in future.

Meanwhile, the residents are not willing to vacate their homes as they demand alternative accommodation as promised by the prime minister.

The Gujjar Nullah operation has been extended to the Orangi Town nullah and many illegal structures were marked there.

Historically Gujjar Nullah was a rainwater drain and it used to irrigate agricultural land in its surroundings before the creation of Pakistan, Siddiqi said.

He explained that many anti-encroachment operations went unsuccessful in the past due to protests from the residents but this time there was negligible resistance, adding that environmental experts would also be engaged to beautify the District Central.

A few days ago, scores of residents of Rehmanabad gathered at Gulberg’s Tahir Villa Chowrangi for a protest, which caused massive gridlock as they blocked the flow of traffic for hours by placing tyres on the road.

The protesters said they had been living in the surroundings of the Gujjar Nullah for years, but no government official had ever stopped them from constructing their homes.

Accusing government officials of taking bribes from them when they had been building their houses, they complained that now the same government officials were claiming that the residents were living illegally.

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