KARACHI: The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation's (KMC) Anti-Encroachment Department demolished on Friday over 50 restaurants, shops and other illegal structures at Hill Park spanning an area of more than 20 acres of the park's land worth around Rs50 billion.
Metropolitan Commissioner Dr Syed Saifur Rehman supervised the anti-encroachment drive in which Dua Restaurant, Eman Restaurant, Aashi Restaurant, Three Queen Restaurant, Oasis Restaurant, Mairaj Amusement Park, Oasis Marriage Garden, Mini Golf Club, Golf Club Marriage Hall and the illegal boundary wall were demolished.
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The Citizens-Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) office located in the parking area was taken by the park management into its use and converted to an office for the Hill Park's deputy director.
Hill Park was established in 1965 on 65 acres of hilly area. The area fell into the hands of land grabbers who illegally occupied the property and used it for commercial activities.
Dr Rehman said that the park was an important part of the cityscape where hills and waterfall provide space for recreational activities to visitors.
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He said that the park had been completely cleared of encroachments under the directives of the Supreme Court and added that the KMC would remove all encroachments from parks, drains, footpaths and amenity plots.
The illegal constructions were removed by four teams of the anti-encroachment department's staff. Anti-Encroachment Senior Director Bashir Siddiqui, Coordination Senior Director Masood Alam, Media Management Director Bashir Saddozai, Municipal Services Senior Director Nauman Arshad and other officers oversaw the operation.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 19th, 2019.