120-square yard house of a family of nine members in Gulshan-e-Maryam near Jam Khanda Village is going to be demolished to make way for the Malir Expressway. Raja, a driver by profession, has been living in Gulshan-e-Maryam for four years. He bought his plot for Rs200,000 in 2017.
“I have all government documents and deputy commissioner Malir office lease papers, but an official team headed by the Mukhtiarkar visited our locality and put a red cross on around 100 houses for demolition,” he said on Monday evening. Raja said the anti-encroachment team first came to the locality last Wednesday.“The government officials said our houses are in the way of Malir Expressway and should be demolished,” Raja said.On Wednesday and Thursday around 40 concrete and non-concrete structures were razed.
Raja explained that they were located about 350 feet away from the left of the Malir River bund or embankment. Memon Goth is on the opposite side of Gulshan-e-Maryam and located at the lesser distance from Malirnaddi, he added.“We submitted our lease papers to the Malir DC office, as the officers instructed,” he added.
On December 24, Bilawal Bhutto laid the foundation stone for the project. The four-lane expressway will run all along the Malir River from Hino Chowk near KPT Flyover to reach the Karachi-Hyderabad Motorway (M-9) near Kathore via a link road. It will be 39.3km long. It is being built, the government says, to provide a new route for traffic from the port to reach the highways.
The government is building it under a public-private partnership for Rs28 billion. “[T]he provision of an exclusive, high speed access controlled corridor with modern facilities along the bank of Malir River is seen as an effective solution to link the new developments like the DHA City, Bahria Town, Gulshan-e-Maymar and other adjoining areas to the posh areas of Clifton and DHA Phases 1 to 8,” says the local government department’s report from October 2019.
The chief minister has said that the first portion from Korangi to Quaidabad would be completed within one and a half years and the entire project would take two and a half years. He added that his government has put Rs4 billion in the project and the remaining amount has been generated as a bank loan.
The expressway would have six interchanges, six lanes, five bridges, five weigh bridges and 63 culverts and one underpass, according to a handout from CM House.
Meanwhile, the Christian Welfare Foundation has gone to court to try to get a stay order for the residents of Gulshan-e-Maryam. According to the foundation’s chairman, Gulzar Prince, they have a Gothabad residential lease from the Sindh government issued in 2012.