KARACHI: City govt to remove structures on drains
By Our Staff Reporter
KARACHI, Sept 21: The defective storm-water disposal system of the city which has collapsed during the recent monsoons needs to be streamlined. This was stated by the naib nazim of the city, Nasreen Jalil, while speaking at a press conference here on Thursday. She said the City Council had adopted important resolutions for this purpose on Sept 16 and identified the flaws in the system and expressed the confidence that the city government would take all necessary steps for its implementation. Ms Jalil pointed out that the city with a population of more than 10 million and had been contributing more than 75 per cent of the total revenue to the federation but it was without a master plan and no serious attempts had been made to improve its disposal system and no new storm-water drains had been built. She added that on the other hand, with the passage of time the existing storm-water drains had been encroached upon and allotted on political grounds and illegal structures had been built on them making the cleaning of these nullahs impossible.
Ms Jalil went on to say that the recent monsoons had exposed the system’s shortcomings when it caused severe flooding, paralysing the life of this commercial and industrial city, damaging property and disrupted services, adding to the miseries of the people. The naib nazim said that the City Council through the unanimously passed resolution had called for action against all those people who had built illegal structures on storm-water drains and it also empowered the city government to cancel all such allotments and demolish the illegal constructions creating obstructions in the cleaning work of these drains.
Moreover, it was observed that housing societies in the private sector as well as the government residential schemes had been built without a proper disposal system of rainwater and this was also not considered while constructing major roads. Keeping in view these facts, she said the council had asked the city government to ensure that storm-water drains be built before construction of any new colony and in the same manner no new roads be constructed without a sewerage and rain disposal system and steps be taken on emergency basis in those areas where storm-water drainage was not available.
The naib nazim also presented the map of the existing storm-water drains which passed through various localities. Those included Soldier Bazar nullah (Jamshed-Saddar Town), New Railway Station nullah (Saddar Town), Organi Town nullah (Orangi Town and Liaquatabad Town), Gujjar nullah (Liaquatabad Town, North Nazimabad Town and North Karachi Town), Kalri nullah (Lyari Town), Pitcher nullah (Lyari), Glass Tower Nullah (Saddar Town), Aligarh nullah (Orangi Town, Shafiq Mor Chota nullah (North Karachi Town) and Shershah nullah (Site Town and Keamari Town).
She said that the issue of cleaning of these drains had never been taken seriously and it was for the first time that serious efforts were being made for cleaning up of these nullahs. In this regard, she referred to the case of Glass Towers where heavy machinery had been used to raze illegal structure. In reply to a question, Ms Jalil said that she was confident that the city government would implement the resolutions passed by the council in this regard. She also disclosed that the city government would approach the federal government to empower the city nazim for taking necessary steps to implement the plans for the benefit of the people as the presence of several civic agencies was creating lots of problems.