SHC hears petition against nullah anti-encroachment drive

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A bench of Sindh High Court on Monday heard a petition of residents against the demolition of houses adjacent to drains in Orangi Town.

The counsel of the residents while arguing over the maintainability of the petition said that the leased houses being demolished in the name of illegal encroachments. “The petitioners have legal documents and lease papers,” counsel said.

“Unplanned construction and illegal approvals have inflicted harm to Karachi,” the bench remarked.

“Who had issued lease on nullahs,” Justice Hassan Azhar Rizvi questioned. “These houses are adjacent to the nullahs and have proper documents,” counsel replied.

“Don’t you remember the situation in Karachi in rainfall,” Justice Hassan Azhar asked. “Children were swept away in Orangi nullah amid rainfall,” the court further remarked.

The bench issued notices to competent authority over the residents petition and summoned reply from the KMC and other concerned departments upto the next hearing.

The court also ordered to satisfy the court over maintainability of the petition.

A major anti-encroachment operation along the city’s nullahs has been launched under deployment of the law enforcement agencies.

Recently, the land and anti-encroachment department had demanded cancellation of lease to the plots alongside the storm water drains.

In a letter addressed to the Director General KatchiAbadis and DG Karachi Development Authority (KDA), the anti-encroachment department had demanded cancellation of lease agreements of the plots adjacent to Gujjar Nullah and Orangi Nullah.

The leased plots are main hurdle in implementation of expansion projects of the storm water drains, the letter read.

Karachi’s drainage system is being remodeled following devastating rains past monsoon in the city due to choking of rain drains and major nullahs.

The experts put forward their recommendations advising restoration of the rain drains.

and storm-water drainage in their original shape by removing the structures flanked by nullahs.