Residents have been compensated, claims city govt
This story has been updated Feb 23, 2021 to include fresh information on compensation from the government
The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation has started demolishing houses along the Gujjar Nullah.
The 12.58km nullah starts from New Karachi near Noorani Muhallah and ends at Liaquatabad near Haji Mureed Goth. It is being cleared on the recommendations of a technical team to ensure a smooth flow of rainwater.
The city government has already cleared the soft encroachments, including shanties, cattle farms, and wooden godowns, near the nullah. It then moved towards removing concrete structures. The operation was, however, halted on February 16 after the city government was stopped from razing structures built on duly leased land. It was agreed that the demolition drive will resume once the area residents have been compensated.
Karachi Administrator Laeeq Ahmed said that Rs90,000 cheques will be given to area residents as rent for six months. On Wednesday, cheques were distributed among 20 families.
People whose houses will suffer 30% or more damages will be compensated too, said a Katchi Abadi director. There are at least 2,000 houses along the nullah.
The operation is expected to continue for over two months. The KMC demolished houses along the eight-kilometre Mehmoodabad Nullah last month. It took a month to raze 58 houses.
The drive is being conducted on the orders of the National Disaster Management Authority and the Sindh government. The two are working together to ensure that the city does not face another crisis during Monsoon rains. Karachi drowned during the August 2020 rains which destroyed the city's infrastructure and resulted in losses worth millions of rupees.
They chalked out a strategy and approached NED's technical team to help them. They are working on remodelling the city's three major nullahs: Mehmoodabad, Gujjar and Orangi.
The technical study of Gujjar Nullah was submitted to the Sindh government on December 31, 2020.
“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 NED team has finalised its survey report along with the hydrological and hydraulic analyses of the drain.
A hydrological analysis is the study of the transformation of rainfall into a runoff, while a hydraulic analysis studies the motion of liquids in relation to fluid mechanics and fluid dynamics.
The NED Infrastructure Engineering Department was working on two designs during the technical study of the drain. The designs were the Liberal Model and the Conservative Model.
The Liberal Model enables stormwater drains to bear up to 270mm rain for 12 hours. This means 270mm rain would not affect the city in this duration.
The duration decreases to three hours in the case of Conservative Model. It means that drains would overflow three hours after it rains 270mm.
The Sindh government chose the Liberal Model in Gujjar Nullah’s case, Dr Qadir said. The NED team has also proposed a 30-feet road on either side of the drain to connect with the Lyari Expressway.
KMC Senior Director Katchi Abadies MazharKhan told SAMAA Digital that the authorities have distributed 70 pay ordersamong the people along Gujjar Nullah Saturday, last week.
The operation at this nullah startedThursday and the pay orders were distributed in three days.
The KMC officer said there would be nocompensation for those who had built commercial properties on the banks ofGujjar nullah as this is illegal on stormwater drains.
There are over 4,000 concrete structureswhich have to be demolished on both sides of Gujjar nullah.
The survey conducted by the districtadministration and KMC found that there are 3,100 people affected along Gujjar nullahas their houses have to be damaged 30% or more.
And on the other hand, at Mehmoodabad nullah, there are 239structures which will be affected, out of which 58 were damaged 30% or more.