Crackdown against building on flood water channels

QUETTA (APP): In a bid to diminish the human and structure losses in future, the Balochistan government has launched a crackdown against the illegal constructions on the flood water channels throughout the province.
“The Balochistan government in exercise of powers conferred under sub-section of (6) 144 of Code of Criminal Procedure 1898 is pleased to impose a ban upon construction of work within the limits of flood channels and irrigation drains throughout the province,” notification read.
It may be recalled that recent unprecedented rains and floods in Balochistan have caused large-scale devastation in most parts of the province, especially in areas where the flood channels and irrigation drains stand choked owing to illegal construction and encroachments.
Hundreds of houses built by the land mafia on the flood water channels were swept away, rendering a large number of middle class families homeless.
On account of the provincial government’s lack of proper checks and land mafia’s corruption, a large number of houses, even housing societies were constructed on the water channels keeping the middle class buying families in dark about the status of the land.
During the recent incessant rains and floods, the illegal act of such construction and encroachment led to perishing of newly-constructed houses on the lands of flood water channels mainly in Quetta.
Malik Town, Jan Town are some of the prominent housing schemes in suburbs of Quetta besides many other areas including Nasrabad, Chasma Achozai, Brewrey and Nawa Kili where flash floods swept away hundreds of houses made on flood channels in just a few hours.
“The apprehensions of such devastation can not be forfended in near future, if the flood channels left blocked,” Additional Chief Secretary Home Balochistan said.
The district administration has launched anti-encroachment operation against such illegal construction.
Additional CS Home further warned stern action as saying “In order to avoid further encroachments, any construction work within the limits of flood channel are restricted with immediate effect,”
On the other hand, the families of such encroachments have demanded the government to compensate their losses as they were unaware of the status of land and spent life’s all hard-earned money on building a house for their family.
Meanwhile, on the directives of CM Balochistan, a committee headed by Assistant Commissioner has been formed to assess and report the losses of houses caused by recent rain and floods.