On the sixth day of an anti-encroachment operation to clear the Karachi Circular Railway’s (KCR) track, a 10-kilometre area was retaken on Tuesday from Gilani Railway Station till Garibabad in District East.
The Supreme Court has given 15 days’ time to the Pakistan Railways to clear at least 50 feet on both sides of the local railway track. During the operation, the central gate of the Civic View apartments was also demolished, while police officials made announcement on loudspeakers asking encroachers to voluntarily vacate the land.
No concrete house, however, was demolished during the operation, and only few shanties and wild bushes were removed. Speaking to media persons at the operation site, DS Railways Karachi Syed Mazhar Ali Shah said that before the operation a meeting was conducted and a strategy drafted.
He explained that 50 feet on left and right of the track, whatever the encroachment existed had to be removed. Meanwhile, Gulshan-e-Iqbal assistant commissioner Ahmed Soomro said that in District East the KCR track’s length was 20 kilometres, out of which 11 kilometres were encroached. Some 10-kilometer area, he said, had been cleaned.
The operation, according to Soomro, kicked off at 10 in the morning and continued until 5pm. A huge contingent of male and female police officials were present during the operation. According to Soomro, between Gilani station and Gharibabad there exist 24 concrete houses, which have been served with notices several times, but the residents have not vacated the land. “Whatever instruction we will get next time, we will act according to that and will demolish these houses,” he said.
Federal Minister for Pakistan Railways Sheikh Rashid visited the KCR track along with Mayor Karachi Wasim Akhtar and Sindh Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah on a rail trolley on Monday from City Station till Wazir Mansion Railway Station.