Authorities told to remove encroachments on rainwater drains

Unauthorised constructions carried out on the lands along rivers, claims petitioner.

Our Correspondent May 27, 2013

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) directed the local government and municipal authorities on Monday to remove all unauthorised and illegal encroachments from the main sewer lines, rainwater drains and rivers in the city ahead of the upcoming monsoon season.

Headed by Justice Maqbool Baqar, the bench also issued notices to the respondents to file their comments on the alleged illegal encroachment of rainwater drains. Rana Faizul Hasan, the general secretary of the United Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, went to court against the authorities and pointed out that the land of various rainwater drains, rivers and sewer lines had been encroached upon due to negligence.

He mentioned that unauthorised constructions have been carried out on the lands along Malir River, Gujjar Nala, Songal Nala that carry domestic and industrial waste from different areas, including Sindh Secretariat, Orangi, Defence View, SITE, Ibn-e-Sina Road, Urdu Bazaar and Manzoor Colony.

“During the rainy season, the sewerage system in the city collapses because the drainage system is very old,” Hasan informed the judges.

“The rainwater drains and sewerage system has not been expanded to cater to the needs of the city of 20 million.”

He pleaded the court direct the city administrator and the commissioner to immediately launch an operation to remove illegally erected encroachments on these drains. He also sought a direction for the finance secretary to release funds to clean the drains.

After the preliminary hearing, the bench issued notices to the secretaries of the local government and finance departments, the director of master plan department, Karachi Water and Sewage Board managing director, the city commissioner, the administrator and the provincial advocate general to file their replies by June 5. Meanwhile, the authorities were told to make sure that no encroachment takes place.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 28th, 2013.


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