- CM says settlers to be given compensation to launch KCR project
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah taking policy decision has said that the encroachments appeared on the route of Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) during and after 2013 would be bulldozed and those who were settled there before 2013 would be given compensation to launch the KCR project in September.
He took this decision on Wednesday while presiding over a meeting on KCR to discuss its issues and progress. The meeting was attended by Minister for Transport Syed Nasir Shah, ACS (Dev) M Waseem, Additional IG Mushtaq Maher, Transport Secretary Taha Farooqi, Karachi Commissioner Aijaz Ali Khan, Talib Fateh Shaikh, railways officials, all DCs and other officers concerned.
The chief minister was told that more encroachments have appeared along the route of KCR. Presently around 43.kilometres of the KCR route of which 21 kilometres stated to be under encroachment. On this, the chief minister expressing his extreme displeasure said that the district administration, police and concerned railways authorities were in slumber when unauthorised people had started illegal constructions on the government land.
Commissioner Aijaz Ali Khan quoting the survey conducted by Pakistan Railways said that 4950 illegal constructions in the shape of houses and shops have appeared on the route of KCR. In District South, there are 420 houses, including four katcha 417 pacca. In District East 2517 different establishments including 448 katcha houses, 1700 pacca houses and 369 katcha shops are there.
In District Central, there are total 720 establishments such as 262 katcha, 420 pacca houses, 47 katcha shops and four pacca shops. Similarly, in District West 1002 illegal establishments have been identified during a survey which include 20 katcha houses, 773 pacca houses, 30 katcha shops and 179 pacca shops. The commissioner said that in District South the railways have not surveyed some portions where around 300 structures have also appeared.
On this the CM Sindh took a decision and said that the survey conducted by JAICA in 2013 showed that there were about 4600 houses and shops on the route of KCR. This may be taken as a policy decision that the houses or shops constructed before and upto 2013 as mapped by JAICA would be given compensation purely on humanitarian grounds and the encroachments appeared in and after 2013 would be bulldozed only after serving them notices.
“I am not in favour of allowing someone to encroach upon government land and then given them compensation to vacate it, he said and added we are treating old cases on humanitarian grounds,” he said. The chief minister was also informed that in four districts, South, East, Central and West 3173 houses and shops are constructed on upto 75 square yards, 688 are constructed over 75 to 125 square yards and 36 houses/shops are constructed over and above 125 square yards.
The transport minister disclosing anti-encroachment operation said he has worked out that 48 excavators of different functions, 24 dumpers, eight loaders, eight gas cutters, 24 hand drills, 400 labours were required for operation. The chief minister directed the transport minister to start work on serving notices to people living there illegally and then bulldoze their houses. He said that once the houses/ shops are bulldozed start fixing fences to protect the KCR route.
He is going to perform groundbreaking ceremony of KCR in September or October in which high officials of CPEC would be invited. That would be the beginning of modern Karachi, he said. Murad said that district and railway police, anti-encroachment force, civic utility agencies, government agencies like KPT, NHA, LDA would participate in the operation for which he assigned the task to the transport minister.