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KMC moves to clear Karachi’s Orangi nullah of encroachments

The operation starts Friday

SAMAA | - Posted: Feb 25, 2021 | Last Updated: 5 months ago
Posted: Feb 25, 2021 | Last Updated: 5 months ago

Photo: NED University's Department of Urban & Infrastructure Engineering

The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation will start an anti-encroachment operation along the 11.25km Orangi nullah Friday, officials said.

In the first phase, the KMC and district administration are to remove soft encroachments from the stormwater drain.

It is one of the three drains that are being widened to ensure a smooth flow of rainwater. The other two are the Gujjar and Mehmoodabad nullahs.

The Sindh government decided to remove encroachments around these drains following the August 2020 urban floods in Karachi.

Mazhar Khan, the KMC senior director for Katchi Abadis, said the operation would start from Old Golimar, where the Orangi nullah ends. KMC teams will remove soft encroachments from Old Golimar to the West deputy commissioner office on Friday.

The KMC Katchi Abadis Department has marked concrete structures on both sides of the drain for demolition. The marking was carried out according to a survey report of the NED University team.

“As per the NED survey, the KMC has marked over 1,700 structures,” Khan told SAMAA Digital. “Each structure has been ID’d too.”

The identity number is basically a code that would have all the details of a demolished structure in the record of the KMC, district administration and other departments.

The KMC plan for removal of encroachments

Around 2,000 concrete structures are going to be demolished on both sides of the Orangi nullah. The 11.25km drain starts from the Pakistan Bazaar police station in Orangi Town and ends near Old Golimar.

The NED University’s Department of Urban & Infrastructure Engineering has submitted a technical study of the Orangi nullah to the Sindh government.

The NED team has slightly changed its plan in the case of Orangi nullah, compared to its strategy on the Mehmoodabad and Gujjar nullahs, said Dr Adnan Qadir, the head of the NED Unversity’s Urban & Infrastructure Engineering Department.

“Instead of 2,656 structures, we have marked around 2,000 units for demolition on both sides of the drain,” he told SAMAA Digital. “This is because we are working on increasing the depth of the nullah in place of its width.”

The NED University team preferred to increase its depth because the drain is naturally deep and has slope due to hilly areas around it. The experts recommended an increase in depth to ensure a smooth flow of rainwater.

The technical study of the Orangi nullah reduced the number of concrete structures to be demolished from 2,656 to 2,000.

More than 600 concrete structures would be saved by increasing the depth of the drain. It will save the Sindh government millions of rupees in terms of compensation.

The width of the drain varies from 20 feet at its starting point to 98 feet where it ends, according to the study. Its depth will be increased by 8 feet at the starting point to 14 feet at its end.

The NED University team has recommended a 30-feet free space on either side of the drain for the construction of an expressway.

Dr Qadir said the NED team would conduct a survey of all 41 stormwater drains and submit a combined report to Sindh CM Murad Ali Shah before the monsoon season.

The KMC cleared 15-feet space on either side of the Mehmoodabad nullah. It took the KMC and the district administration over a month. A road is being constructed on both sides of the drain.

The KMC started removing encroachments along the Gujjar nullah on February 18. The operation has yet to be completed.

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