KARACHI: Over 300 shops constructed illegally on Karachi Development Authority (KDA) land and drains in Korangi were demolished as the grand anti-encroachment operation to retrieve illegally occupied city land was under way in the neighbourhood.
The KDA anti-encroachment staff began its operation in the morning on 1600 Road, a street in the Korangi No5½, and demolished the illegal structures constructed mainly on drains.
KDA director general Samiuddin Siddiqui, who supervised the operation, told Dawn that the anti-encroachment operation in Korangi would continue till the removal of all encroachments.
He said that almost ever shop demolished in the operation had one or two floors, which were being used as residential units.
The DG said that the KDA had identified over 6,000 encroachments on its land across the city.
He said the KDA had removed over 6,000 encroachments from its land in different parts of the city last year.
Mr Siddiqui referred to the order of the Supreme Court for removal of all encroachments in the city and said that the operation would continue till its logical end.
He said that efforts were being made for clearing all KDA property.
The KDA chief said that the city development authority had always played a main role in the uplift of the city in the past and so shall be continued.
KDA executive engineer Rasheed Solangi, director estate and enforcement Dildar Hussain Shah, demolishing officer Saeed Ahmed, assistant director estate and enforcement Khuram Shahbaz, media coordinator Akram Sattar and other were also present during the operation.
A heavy contingent of police and Rangers were also present during the action against encroachments.
Encroachments around zoo
Meanwhile, Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar said that the Supreme Court had directed the civic and municipal agencies to remove illegally-constructed shops and encroachments on city drains, footpaths and amenity plots within one month.
He said that action against encroachments around the Karachi Zoo, Lea Market and in other parts of the city would be carried out.
The mayor was speaking to a delegation of the Zoological Garden Market Association.
He said that the Supreme Court verdict was on the petition filed by former city nazim Naimatullah Khan under which no commercial activity could be carried out in parks and on drains and footpaths and subsequently all federal and provincial government organisations and KMC were directed to take the action in 15 days and submit its report.
The mayor said the action against encroachments was being carried out by all government organisations in accordance with the order of the apex court.
“KMC is not alone in this operation,” he added.
Mr Akhtar said balloting for allotment of alternative shops to affected traders would be held in the Commissioner Karachi Office next week.
“All shopkeepers who were paying rent to KMC will get alternative place for business,” he said.
He asked the delegation members to vacate their shops around the zoo by Friday as the action against unauthorised and illegally constructed structures would be taken on Saturday and Sunday.