Initiating the anti-encroachment operation along the Mehmoodabad Nullah on Tuesday, the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation razed ‘soft encroachments’ on an area of 1.5 kilometres in Manzoor Colony.
Residents of houses built on the encroached land have been issued eviction notices as the KMC gears up to begin the second phase of its demolition operation in seven days in light of the Supreme Court’s directives. The eviction notices warn that the authority will vacate the identified structures by force if the residents fail to leave voluntarily.
According to KMC Anti-Encroachment Operation Director Minhajul Haque, the encroachments along the drain are to be razed in two phases. Soft encroachments established along 3.5km of the nullah’s land, from Manzoor Colony Fire Station till Korangi Road, will be razed in the first phase, which is to continue till January 7, he added.
Elaborating further, the anti-encroachment teams told that soft encroachments entail structures such as extended galleries of houses, walls, boundaries, footpaths, stalls and platforms extended outside shops.
Some of these structures were raised on Monday with law enforcement teams, including Sindh Rangers and the police, deputed at the site. The operation culminated without any resistance from residents and affectees of the demolition campaign, and the work to remove the debris also began later the same day.
According to Haque, the ‘hard’ encroachments entail concrete structures of houses and buildings established along and around the drain. These will be razed in the second phase and 56 houses that have been built on the nullah or have parts extended to the limits of the nullah will be torn down, he said.
Fearing resistance from residents, East deputy commissioner had sought the deployment of 150 male police officers, 50 female police officers, 50 Rangers personnel and 100 officials of the anti-encroachment force. Two water cannons were also sought for the operation.
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