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January 17, 2021

Action kicks off to raze encroachments from Nullah’s banks

Lahore

January 17, 2021

KARACHIThe anti-encroachment drive under way to clear both sides of the Mehmoodabad Nullah in District East intensified on Saturday when the removal of all kinds of encroachments kicked off.

According to details shared by senior anti-encroachment director Bashir Siddiqui, the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) continued demolishing the portions of shops and houses that were illegally protruding over the road along the banks of the storm water drain, while houses whose occupants had been given additional few days to vacate were also razed. A three-floor building along the nullah was demolished during the operation on Saturday. Two- to-three floor buildings illegally built on the land will be demolished now. Around 180 houses are illegally protruding onto the road. Moreover, 57 of the houses will lose 30 to 40 per cent of the structure, but a few will be demolished completely. As for the construction of a road on both sides of the drain, enough space has been reclaimed after demolishing shops and houses for vehicles to pass through.

The KMC has been removing debris as they move forward. By the end of the operation, there will be at least 15 feet of space available for vehicles to ply the road on either side of the nullah. The operation had kicked off from Manzoor Colony’s Fire Station, moving towards Bismillah Chowk and then to Awam Chowk, finally reaching near Mehmoodabad. A few residents were seen demolishing illegally protruding portions of their houses themselves to avoid major losses.

District Central: Meanwhile, on orders from KMC Administrator Laeeq Ahmed, another operation was carried out in District Central under the supervision of the KMC director for the district, Kamran Alvi.

As many as a five-kilometer area on both sides of the nullah, he said, had been cleared of encroachments by the end of the operation on Saturday. “It will take another seven to eight days for the operation to completely end,” he said. “We cannot use heavy machinery to demolish all heavy structures, as houses are very much joined with each other. We have no option but to use labouers to do the job by hand.”

As for the construction of a road, he said, the Frontier Works Organisation was already in the area and work had been started. The anti-encroachment operation was also carried out in Nazimabad’s Chandni Chowk area. Tables and chairs of tea shops, restaurants, which were illegally, placed on roads and footpaths were removed in the operation. Puncture shops on footpaths, betel kiosks, and push carts were also removed from the area. KMC’s director central, Kamran Alvi supervised the operation.

Covid kills six more as another 1,258 test positive: Six more people have died due to Covid-19 and another 1,258 cases have been reported during the past 24 hours in Sindh, with the death toll due to the viral disease reaching 3,730 in the province.

Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said in his daily situation report on the health emergency on Saturday that 13,936 samples were tested in the past 24 hours, resulting in 1,258 people, or 9.03 per cent of those who were screened, being diagnosed with Covid-19. The provincial government has so far conducted 2,566,118 tests, which have resulted in 234,654 positive cases, which means that 9.14 per cent of those screened have been found to be infected, he added. Shah said that after the latest deaths, the rate of the diagnosed people who have lost their fight with Covid-19 stands at 1.61 per cent in Sindh.

He said that 17,946 patients are currently under treatment: 16,977 in self-isolation at home, 13 at isolation centres and 956 at hospitals, while 872 patients are in critical condition, of whom 99 are on life support. He added that 667 more people have recovered during the past 24 hours, increasing the number of cured patients to 212,933, which shows the recovery rate to be 90.7 per cent.

The CM said that out of the 1,258 fresh cases of Sindh, 985 (or 78.3 per cent) have been reported in Karachi Division alone: 384 of the city’s new patients are from District South, 277 from District East, 133 from District Central, 112 from District Korangi, 42 from District West and 37 from District Malir. As for the other districts of the province, Hyderabad has reported 50 new cases, Sujawal 32, Shaheed Benazirabad 23, Tando Allahyar 21, Sanghar 18, Thatta 17, Jamshoro and Tando Muhammad Khan 13 each, Ghotki 11, Larkana nine, Shikarpur seven, Naushehroferoze six, Jacobabad five, Mirpurkhas, Sukkur and Umerkot three each, Khairpur and Matiari two each, and Badin and Dadu one each, he added.

The chief executive reiterated his appeal to the people of Sindh that they should comply with the standard operating procedures issued by his provincial government.