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February 14, 2020

KCR anti-encroachment operation put on hold until tomorrow

Karachi

February 14, 2020

The Pakistan Railways has postponed its anti-encroachment operation to vacate the land of the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) project until Saturday (tomorrow) morning, read a statement issued to the media on Thursday.

On February 7 the Supreme Court had directed the Pakistan Railways to remove all encroachments, including every multi-storeyed building, located on the KCR route, with the order to revive the project.

Tariq Asad, deputy director of the Pakistan Railways’ public relations department, said the operation had been delayed so that utility agencies — such as the K-Electric, the Sui Southern Gas Company and the Karachi Water & Sewerage Board — could disconnect their services.

Tension had gripped the residents of Gharibabad on Wednesday after the railway authorities told them to vacate their homes before heavy machinery razed them because they had been declared illegal establishments on the KCR route.

A notice issued by the city railway station superintendent read that the people living up and down the KCR track were asked to vacate their homes because swift action would be started from Thursday and onwards from the city station to Drigh Road.

“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.

Regarding the possibility of resistance from the residents, Asad said the authorities had followed due procedure by distributing flyers and notices in the area. However, he added, the Government of Sindh and the Pakistan Railways would devise a plan within two days to deal with any possible resistance.

The provincial government and the Pakistan Railways held separate sessions on Thursday in this regard. KE and other utility agencies were also contacted to ask them to disconnect their services within two days. Assistance from the law enforcement agencies would be sought to deal with any law and order situation.

On Tuesday an operation to clear the KCR track of encroachments was started, during which 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.