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February 13, 2020

Homes in Gharibabad declared illegal set to be demolished today

Karachi

February 13, 2020

Tension gripped the residents of Gharibabad on Wednesday as the authorities concerned told them to vacate their homes before heavy machinery razes them because they have been declared illegal establishments along the route of the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) project.

A notice issued by the city railway station superintendent reads that the people living up and down the KCR track are suggested to vacate their homes because swift action will be started from February 13 and onwards from the city station to Drigh Road on the orders of the Supreme Court.

“The illegal occupants are also advised against resisting the anti-encroachment operation on the KCR track to be carried out by the Pakistan Railways,” stated the notice.

The residents decried the notice, asserting that they will not leave until they are provided with alternative places to live in. They said they had lawfully purchased land from the railways officials decades ago and still had all the receipts and documents to prove their claim.

On February 7, the SC had directed the Sindh government and the Pakistan Railways to remove all encroachments, including all multi-storeyed buildings located in the way of the KCR, and also ordered reviving the train service that was discontinued some two decades ago.

Wedding hall

During an anti-encroachment operation in Catholic Colony located in Jamshed Town, the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) bulldozed a wedding hall that was declared illegal.

The Karachi Municipal Corporation (KMC) also issued orders to demolish a structure built in a park in Kharadar that was deemed illegal. The KMC also issued notices to over 700 shops in Lea Market to vacate them within a week before the authorities concerned clear them.

An official of the corporation, namely Imran Qadeer, told the media that they are in talks with the market association to relocate them. He claimed that those affected by the operation in the Garden, Light House and Empress Market areas had already been given alternative places.

Gulshan-e-Iqbal

A day earlier, when an operation to clear the KCR track of encroachments was started, an under-construction building was demolished near the Gilani Station in the Gulshan-e-Iqbal neighbourhood.

During the operation, the police faced resistance from the residents living on and around the KCR track. In the 13-D area of Gulshan-e-Iqbal, a three-storey under-construction building over 600 square yards was razed to the ground.

Those who had already booked flats in the building resisted the operation and pelted stones at the police officials present on the scene. The protesters said they had invested their lifelong earnings in the residential project and now the government had demolished it.

Khalid Javed, deputy director land of the Pakistan Railways, who was present at the site of the operation, said the buildings that were still occupied by residents would be demolished by the provincial government. According to Pakistan Railways officials, 81 acres belong to the railways.