‘60pc of I-11 slum demolished’Archive
ISLAMABAD: Mohammad Salman, 18, and his brothers spent Thursday night at a greenbelt of Sector I-11 looking after their household items which they had managed to save from being bulldozed by the CDA enforcement staff on Thursday.
Salman was among scores of people who spent the night under the open sky to keep any eye on their belongings. “On Thursday, when we saw the CDA bent upon bulldozing the entire Basti, I along with my brothers started vacating our mud house. We dumped our household items on the greenbelt where we spent the night.”
He said most of the slum dwellers, who were made homeless, shifted their families, including women and children, to their relatives’ homes in Fauji Colony and Bangash Colony at Pirwadhai for the night stay.
The enforcement wing of the CDA on the second day expedited the operation and demolished around 60 per cent of the mud houses at the katchi abadi.
“We are optimistic that by Saturday we will clear the entire area,” said CDA member environment Mustafain Kazmi. There was no resistance from the dwellers on the second day as they remained busy in shifting out their belongings.
An elderly man, Wazir Khan, who also spent the night on the greenbelt, had no idea where to go. “I’m disturbed, I’m looking at the debris of my razed house, I have no house anywhere, where I should go, where I should go,” he said and started collecting pieces of wood from the debris.
On Friday, the CDA also provided over a dozen trucks to the displaced people to move their belongings, however, that fell short.
“We also provided a few trucks to those who wanted to go to Peshawar,” Mr Kazmi said, adding due to the shortage of vehicles the civic agency could not fulfil the demand of all the katchi abadi dwellers.
“After demolishing our houses, if the CDA really wants to help us it should give us Rs2,000 to each family in terms of transport fare instead of providing sponsored-trucks which are very few,” said Imran Khan.
“It was noted that most of the displaced people were moving towards Tarnol. “We will try to establish a mud house in Tarnol or hire a house there because Tarnol is a relatively inexpensive locality,” said Gul Khan.
Meanwhile, the CDA also started fencing the land after the removal of the illegal encroachment to avoid any further occupation.
A spokesman for the civic agency said on the second day of the operation around 60 per cent of the illegal structures was razed. He said the operation would continue till the demolition of the last illegal structure in the area.
CDA Chairman Maroof Afzal visited the site of the operation and appreciated the efforts of the enforcement wing, the district administration, police and other allied agencies.
Talking to the media, Mr Afzal said Sector I-11 was opened in 1985 for the low income people and the plot owners were still waiting for the construction of their houses which could not be materialised due to the adverse possession of the land.
Published in Dawn, August 1st, 2015
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