Houses destroyed over 30% eligible
The Sindh government will be financially compensating the people who will be losing their homes along Gujjar, Mehmoodabad and Orangi nullahs, which are frantically being cleared and widened before the next monsoon rains in Karachi.
These three nullahs are the main ones that drain rainwater from the city into the sea but because they have been clogged up, surrounding neighbourhoods flooded to the point of crisis last August.
Prime Minister Imran Khan tasked the National Disaster Management Authority with the job and it teamed up with the Sindh government to remodel the nullahs. Concrete structures on their banks would be removed to widen them so rainwater flows unobstructed.
KMC Senior Director Katchi Abadies Mazhar Khan told SAMAA Digital that the authorities have distributed 70 pay orders among the people along Gujjar Nullah Saturday, last week.
The operation at this nullah started Thursday and the pay orders were distributed in three days.
The KMC officer said there would be no compensation for those who had built commercial properties on the banks of Gujjar nullah as this is illegal on stormwater drains.
There are over 4,000 concrete structures which have to be demolished on both sides of Gujjar nullah.
The survey conducted by the district administration and KMC found that there are 3,100 people affected along Gujjar nullah as their houses have to be damaged 30% or more.
And on the other hand, at Mehmoodabad nullah, there are 239 structures which will be affected, out of which 58 were damaged 30% or more.
The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation started work on widening the Gujjar Nullah at the end of January 2021.
The Sindh government decided to remove encroachments around drains following the August 2020 urban floods in the city.
It has tasked the NED University’s Infrastructure Engineering and Urban Development Department with chalking out a permanent technical solution to the issue. The NED University team decided to widen the Mehmoodabad, Gujjar and Orangi nullahs first.
The recommendations and technical study of Gujjar Nullah was submitted to the Sindh government on December 31, 2020. The 12.58km drain starts from New Karachi near Noorani Muhallah and ends at Liaquatabad near Haji Mureed Goth.
“As per the final plan, around 4,000 houses would be affected on both sides of the Gujjar Nullah,” said Dr Adnan Qadir, the NED Infrastructure and Urban Development Department chairman.
The plan is to widen the Gujjar Nullah between 35 feet and 120 feet. “We have recommended 35-feet width at the zero point and 120-feet at the point where it ends,” Dr Qadir said.
The width of the drain currently varies from 15 feet to 87 feet. It’s 33 feet on the average.