A massive operation against encroachments was conducted amid the presence of police and Rangers on Sohrab Goth on Tuesday. Several makeshift houses, stalls and roadside hotels were removed.
The operation was supervised by the anti-encroachment taskforce chairperson and land department’s senior director, Bilal Manzar, along with anti-encroachments director Mazhar Khan and additional director Moin Khan. The team covered the areas of Sikandar Goth, Sohrab Goth, alAzam Square, alAsif Square, Bara Market and other adjoining areas. They also removed over 300 trucks besides other illegal structures.
Manzar explained to the media that the operation was carried out on the directives of the Sindh High Court and the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation administrator. Khan said it was the first such operation in which the law enforcement agencies and the taskforce did not face any resistance. “Our operation will be helpful in maintaining the government’s writ in this area,” he hoped. The team used heavy machinery to remove the encroachments on both sides of the road. “The anti-encroachments taskforce of the KMC vacated the land alongside Super Highway, which will be used for an extension project of the road.”
On the re-establishment of such encroachments soon after the operation, Khan said the National Highway Authority and the Rangers personnel will establish their check-post to monitor these areas. “We are hopeful that the law enforcement agencies will not allow re-encroachment in this area,” he said.
Meanwhile, the anti-encroachments squad also carried out action against encroachments in Malir and Korangi Industrial Area and removed all illegal roadside hotel cabins and makeshifts stalls. KMC administrator Rauf Akhtar Farooqui also chaired a meeting and directed the anti-encroachment staff to speed up their ongoing operation and continue to work until all encroachments in the city are removed.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 19th, 2014.