Water board losing land to encroachers

Faisal Hussain April 21, 2010

KARACHI: Six hundred and fifty acres owned by the Karachi Water and Sewage Board (KWSB) has been ‘illegally’ occupied by the land mafia.

Officials at the KWSB and the police are silent as the construction of hotels, petrol pumps, residential and commercial buildings is underway. The land, worth billions of rupees, lies between the Hub reservoir and Hub filter plant.

Officials said that a conduit of the water board also runs through this land which was reserved for a filter plant, residential blocks and KWSB installations.

The KWSB possesses documents proving the department’s ownership yet the land mafia continues to build upon it, officials said, adding that most of the construction work on this land takes place under the supervision of the police.

They said that the mafia had been eyeing this land for a long time and had tried to occupy it earlier as well but failed as the KWSB reacted with lodging 10 to 12 FIRs against the encroachers. According to officials, construction started again once the tenure of the former city government ended.

They also said that the KWSB Managing Director, Sajjad Abbasi, who is being investigated for charges of illegal land allotment and financial irregularities during his term as EDO Revenue, has not taken any action on the complaints of other officers