Wake up and Smell the Rubble…


Photography Credit: Jawad Ahmed

This entry could be about any of our localities, where we spend our days and nights. The same path we trudge regularly to get home after long hours in school/university/office.

In Karachi especially, when we build/buy our houses, there’s always that personal touch, some extravagance on our part done to be different from the rest of the houses around the area. It is when we like to extend our lawns a bit more by encroaching outwards; make stretched parking slopes taking main footpath’s space. In such fervor some forget that they are building on the land which is not really theirs.

Then KDA comes in and during their drive of amnesiac building/re-building of roads and you see nothing but rubble when you wake up one fine morning. I found a live example in North Karachi, Sector 8 to 10. I investigated to discover that the concerned authority had issued prior warnings and were instructed to shift their electric & gas meters but nobody paid heed to the notice and on 31st May at 6 o’clock sharp, bulldozers came and did what they are made for.

People look on as the bulldozers work

Locality people gauging and doing damage control

Sector 10 was the most severely damaged with gates totally torn down; exposing most of the houses to every outside element you can think of.


Irony of the situation is that the houses on the opposite lane (Baradari side) were notified as well. Except for a few, who tore down their encroaching parking lots, grills and shops; many simply waited with bated breath without learning anything from the damage caused.

Lone ranger, getting rid of the extra rubble after demolishing the illegal shop space. One of the few who did their own demolishing before the bulldozers came.

On 2nd June, all of it happened again, wrecking havoc:



What do you think, who is at fault here? People who are encroaching over civil land or the officials who avert their eyes when such building were being constructed for the extra ‘chai-pani’?

7 Comments so far

  1. HITMAN (hitman) on June 11th, 2008 @ 6:26 pm

    Well Great Job to the demolition team & to those citizens who voluntarily gave up the encroached spaces.

  2. HITMAN (hitman) on June 11th, 2008 @ 6:32 pm

    Ofcourse in this scenario, the citizens r to be blamed 1st hand & then the concerned departments/ officers, because this time they took the bribe for a wrong doing. Otherwise I would always blame the departments/ officers because most of the time u need to give them bribe for a simple, straight forward & legal/ genuine case.

  3. Syed Johny (johny) on June 11th, 2008 @ 7:07 pm

    Job Well Done
    keep it up KDA :)

    Show no mercy!

  4. seskey on June 11th, 2008 @ 8:54 pm

    there shall be some case registered as well and penalty for encorachment for duration between which notice was served and no attention given, all machinery charges be recovered from the encroachers as well. Way to go City Govt,

    – aab koyee issko poltical color mai paint kab karta hai yeah deykhna hai –

  5. Ali (retroguy02) on June 12th, 2008 @ 4:34 am

    I think both the locals and authorities are at fault–they should have more coordination. It’s like a braid; if you try unbraiding it from the middle, the entire braid will sag and mess up. You need to start from bottom to top or all the way from the top to bottom. That’s how you can pretty much sum up all the faults in our society. An excellent piece though, Afreen.

  6. Syed Johny (johny) on June 12th, 2008 @ 12:01 pm

    this article seems to tell the different version of the story,
    Biggest encroachments in Karachi voluntarily leveled by residents


  7. Afreen (afreen) on June 13th, 2008 @ 11:23 am

    Hitman, Actually it happens on both cases. One of my relatives got harassed while building his house in Gulistan-e-Johar by the police officials of that area for "chai-pani" just to keep the building material safe!

    retroguy, Totally agree with your point. Thanks btw.

    johny, my piece is about "North Karachi" not New Karachi. Your link is not relevant to this post.

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