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Plea against anti-encroachment drive along Gujjar nullah rejected

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) has rejected a plea by Gulberg Town residents to halt the ongoing anti-encroachment operation along Karachi’s Gujjar Nullah.

A two-judge bench of the high court directed the petitioner to satisfy it on the maintainability of his petition and rejected his plea to grant a stay order against the operation until this case is decided.

The petitioner stated before the bench that he has been residing in Gulberg Town’s Tayyababad area for the past 50 years. He added he acquired the plot on which his house is built on from the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) on a lease as per the laws.

The petitioner further said that the operation was launched three days back to clear all illegal dwellings along Gujjar Nullah with residents being asked through mosque loudspeakers to vacate illegally built houses.

He pleaded with the high court to restrain the KMC from knocking down leased houses. On Wednesday, Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) anti-encroachment wing launched an operation to demolish illegally constructed shops and other structures along the city’s natural stormwater drains.

The authorities started an anti-encroachment operation along Gujjar nullah with the help of police and rangers, a week after record-breaking torrential rains triggered urban flooding in the city.

The occupants have been instructed to vacate all illegally constructed structures falling within 105-foot of the stormwater drains. A large contingent of police have been deployed to prevent any untoward incident or rioting by residents.

A survey would be conducted at three spots in Karachi’s central district to identify the illegal constructions. The grand operation commenced on Wednesday to clear illegal encroachments after problems were faced during the recent monsoon rains.

According to a survey made by government departments, most of the stormwater drains in Karachi have been encroached with illegally constructed houses, shops and other structures. These encroachments impede the free flow of the rainwater causing urban flooding and immense damage to the city.

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