KARACHI: The KCR Mutasirin Action Committee held a press conference at the Karachi Press Club on Monday to draw the government’s attention to the plight of the poor people whose homes have been bulldozed to make way for the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR).
Khan Badshah, chairman of the KCR Mutasirin Action Committee, said that there were some 1,050 homes in areas such as Quaid-i-Azam Colony, Wahid Colony and Gharibabad that are seen as being a hindrance to the KCR project. “Even the Supreme Court of Pakistan has directed the government to give the people living by the rail tracks alternative living quarters before bulldozing their homes but their homes are being bulldozed anyway,” he said.
“Those whose homes have been [demolished] are living in terrible conditions in this heat and during the holy month of Ramazan. Sometimes Iftar is provided to them by the Edhi Foundation and sometimes they are hosted by the Saylani Welfare Trust,” he said.
“They don’t even have water for performing ablution for prayers. Their neighbours whose homes are still standing are providing them with water,” he said.
“It is a terrible way to live without having a roof over their heads under this hot sun. Sometimes they beg their relatives to take in their children and at other times the children just sit amid the rubble of their fallen homes,” he said.
“We urge the government to think of these poor people. We are not against the KCR since it is for the betterment of the city and its citizens. They only ask to leave the homes that are not coming in the way of the KCR tracks. It will also lessen the burden on the government which will then have to provide fewer alternative places,” he said.
Badshah also requested the government to provide those who have lost a roof over their heads with a shelter. “All of them are not encroachers.
“And they are also human beings who should be treated as such. Have a heart,” he concluded.