Govt starts anti-encroachment drive on Lyari Riverbed

KARACHI   -   In a significant move, the Government of Sindh through Commissioner Karachi has started operation against illegal encroachments from the 38 km long Lyari Riverbed.

 In a decisive move to reclaim public land from illegal encroachers, the Office of the Assistant Commissioner, SITE, District Keamari along with Sindh Police and Rangers conducted a comprehensive anti-encroachment operation in the Lyari Riverbed from May 16 to May 18, 2024.

Although the operation faced resistance from encroachers, but it completed with 80 percent success on its clearance goals, said a statement issued on Saturday.

The operation, ordered by Commissioner Karachi Syed Hassan Naqvi, aimed to clear significant portions of the riverbed encroached by various illegal structures and activities.

 The first phase of the anti-encroachment drive commenced in the Pak Colony Old Golimar area, targeting an area over one kilometer long. Various illegal parking facilities, sand-crushing plants, water plants, and makeshift housing structures were identified.

Notably, one of the heads of the illegal parking mafia was arrested, and 75 percent of the encroachments were cleared. The operation faced resistance from a mob of 300-400 people, but the government officials handled them through successful negotiations and carried on the drive for the next two days.

The efforts continued to clear the Pak Colony Bridge area, resulting in the removal of 80 percent of the encroachments, including 15 makeshift houses, two warehouses, nine animal barns, and three permanent houses. The final phase of the operation achieved a 98 percent clearance rate, with the removal of additional makeshift and permanent houses.

The Commissioner thanked the Sindh Police, District Encroachment Force, KMC and Rangers for their facilitation in the successful completion of the operation.

During the anti-encroachment drive, it was observed that the main resistance against the drive came from the local residents who were displaced due to Lyari Expressway project. The government field teams recommended that the resettlement and compensation process for displaced families requires further improvement to prevent future resistance.

Commissioner Karachi Syed Hassan Naqvi emphasized the stakeholder involvement in removing obstacles in the subsequent phases and said, through strict vigilance and cooperation among all stakeholders, we can maintain the reclaimed areas and prevent future encroachments.

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