It was to start 9am on Wednesday
A massive push to clear one of Karachi’s major nullahs, the Mehmoodabad stormwater drain, has been postponed hours before its start on Wednesday.
The operation was to kick off 9am Wednesday morning. The authorities had called in police and Rangers in riot gear over fears that squatters will react with violence.
The might of the National Disaster Management Authority, District East, 100 KMC anti-encroachment teams, 200 police personnel and 50 Rangers jawans, was to be backed by two water canons, four armoured personnel carriers and the fire brigade.
They were to demolish encroachments up to 100 feet from the natural stormwater drain, which means 50 feet on each side.
KMC Senior Director Bashir Siddiqui told SAMAA Digital that the operation had been postponed indefinitely. A meeting will be held at the commissioner’s office on Wednesday to decide another date for the operation, he added.
Earlier, Siddiqui had said that they will start from Manzoor Colony Fire Brigade Station. “In the first phase, encroachments up to 1km from Manzoor Colony Fire Brigade Station would be removed,” he added.
The total length of encroachments on the Mehmoodabad nullah is around 5km starting from the fire station and going all the way to Qayyumabad. Akhtar Colony, Manzoor Colony, Kashmir Colony and adjacent areas fall in the area of the drain.
KMC Metropolitan Commissioner Afzal Zaidi has been tasked with supervising the work.
After the torrential rains this monsoon in Karachi, Prime Minister Imran Khan had asked the NDMA to clean the drains and remove encroachments. It first cleaned up Gujjar nullah, followed by the CBM-Korangi nullah and Mockho nullah in August.
The deputy commissioner for District East had asked the Rangers DG, AIG of police, KMC anti-encroachment department to help.