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June 12, 2019

Drive to clear KCR track of encroachments to resume today

Karachi

June 12, 2019

On the directives of Commissioner Karachi Iftikhar Shallwani, the anti-encroachment operation to clear the Karachi Circular Railway’s track will resume on Wednesday (today).

The operation will however be against commercial structures, not residential units. Speaking to The News on Tuesday, Shallwani vowed that they had halted the anti-encroachment operation against houses. “There are petrol pumps, factories, and several other commercial structures in the vicinity,” he said and pledged to destroy all that.

More than 60 percent of the encroachments in the area were commercial, he said. The Supreme Court on May 9 had given 15 days to the Pakistan Railways to clear at least 50 feet along both sides of the railway track and hand it over to the Sindh government, which was told to operationalise the KCR in another 15 days.

On Sunday, the Sindh government announced it would provide makeshift tents and mobile toilets to people whose houses had been demolished in the ongoing anti-encroachment operation along the track.

Adviser to Sindh Chief Minister on Information Murtaza Wahab also held out the assurance that they would try to halt the anti-encroachment operation by devising a strategy with the Pakistan Railways police.

Responding to a query about makeshift toilets and houses, the commissioner said that they were in coordination with the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) and within a few days toilets and tents would be installed in affected areas.

He also met a delegation of a Joint Action Committee of the affected people. He said that the operation would continue in the light of the SC’s directions and they would make sure that no encroachment was set up again.

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