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Uprooting lives: Railways serves eviction notices on Katchi Abadi dwellers
03-29-2012, 12:29 PM
Post: #1
Uprooting lives: Railways serves eviction notices on Katchi Abadi dwellers
Uprooting lives: Railways serves eviction notices on Katchi Abadi dwellers

RAWALPINDI: Over 100 slum dwellers in Kalyamabad, Rawalpindi, have petitioned the Lahore High Court (LHC) against their eviction by Pakistan Railways.The petitioners have made District Coordination Officer (DCO), director-general of the Punjab Katchi Abadis and Urban Development, Railways chairman, PR’s Property and Land Director, Divisional Superintendent, Carriage Factory Managing Director, and Rawalpindi Cantonment Board as respondents in their petition.

LHC Rawalpindi bench will hear the petition filed through Advocate Imran Khan Jadoon, this week.The petitioners maintain that there were over 900 houses in the decades-old Kalyamabad Katchi Abadi and that they had been using utilities such as gas, electricity and telephones without any objection of railways.

The petitioners said it was in 2000 that the area along with 67 others across Punjab was declared as a Katchi Abadi by the directorate of the department. They added that the civic authorities wrote a letter to the railways seeking a mandatory No Objection Certificate (NOC) to approve the status of the area as a Katchi Abadi under the provincial government policy.

Since the NOC was pending, railway authorities initiated the eviction and demolition of houses from its occupied land in compliance to the order of the Supreme Court. On March 14 railways authorities served notices on Kalyamabad residents to vacate the land within two weeks or be evicted forcibly.

Challenging the notices, the petitioners said that the DCO wrote a letter to DG Katchi Abadis in February asking to suspend the operation and wait for final NOCs to declare the area as a Katchi Abadi.

On February 24, the Katchi Abadis DG wrote to railways authorities asking them to exclude certain areas including Kalyamabad from its operation plan against illegal occupations.

Petitioners through their lawyer urged the high court to stop Pakistan Railways from demolishing their houses until the final outcome of their petition. They have further asked the court to declare notices issued by railways as null and void.
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