Karachi: Gujjar Nullah operation enters second day

Zeeshan Shah
Heavy machinery demolishes 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

KARACHI: The anti-encroachment drive along the Gujjar nullah entered its second day on Thursday, with residents protesting against the operation as authorities set about clearing the area of illegal structures that clog drains and cause flooding.

According to Geo News, soft encroachments, which includes temporary houses, will be removed today as authorities’ attempt to clear 20 feet of road on both sides of the nullah.

The anti-encroachment drive which is being run at three points at the Gujjar Nullah — the Café Piyala, New Karachi and North Nazimabad near Ziauddin Hospital — was met by protesting residents.

Protesters had blocked the road connecting Water Pump and Sakhi Hasan, disrupting the flow of traffic there before police dispersed them.

An assistant commissioner told Geo News that those whose houses will be razed will be provided with alternative living arrangements. He added that on the first day of the operation, authorities had marked the area around the Gujjar nullah and decided that encroachments falling in the 105 feet premises would be removed.

A survey report will also be prepared and sent to higher authorities, he added.

Authorities launch operation against Gujjar nullah encroachments

An operation to remove encroachments along the Gujjar Nullah was launched on Wednesday, a week after heavy rains devastated the city and flooded residential areas.

Authorities had removed commercial encroachments, such as cattle markets and parking spots alongside the Gujjar nullah to ensure the drain does not get clogged in the future.

A protest by residents of Liaquatabad FC area had been launched when the deputy commissioner central told residents to vacate their homes.

Protesters had blocked roads, affecting traffic between Nazimabad and Liaquatabad. However, they had ended their protest when police and Sindh government officials had reassured them that the operation was being conducted against commercial encroachments and not residential ones.