An anti-encroachment drive on the land of Circular Railway would begin today (Tuesday), according to the additional deputy commissioner. Earlier on Monday, the joint director of Land and Railway Imtiaz Siddiqui announced that the anti-encroachment drive which was scheduled for Monday had been delayed by a day in order to give the occupants of Karachi Circular Railway another day to vacate their shops and houses.Reportedly, the railway and district administration employees went to the Gharibabad railway track in order to oversee the anti-encroachment drive but upon their arrival they found some store owners in the market pack up their wares and leave. Additional deputy commissioner Wasimuddin said. ” Today, we have just come to issue a warning to those who have set-up illegal stores and from tomorrow we will begin to raze the encroachments.” “In the first phase, Gharibabad furniture market will be razed and the railway track will be cleared,” he added. Joint director Imtiaz Siddiqui also confirmed this by announcing that the drive would commence on Tuesday (today). The officials stated that people had already been issued a notice. “We do not want anyone to suffer any losses,” said Siddiqui. He further stated that 1,200 encroachments stood on land owned by KCR. Reportedly, there exist encroachments on at least 10 several points of the defunct KCR. These encroachments include houses, parking spots and shops.According to reports, the Karachi Metropolitan Corporations plans on vacating at least 360 acres from encroachers after an order was issued by the Supreme Court (SC) last month. Approximately 6,653 encroachments would be demolished during the operation. Over 3,000 shops have been demolished in various areas of the metropolis according to estimates. Meanwhile, Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar promised that authorities would make arrangements for the relocation of shops demolished during the ongoing drive against encroachments. Sindh chief minister Murad Ali Shah also said that those affected by the drive should be compensated.After criticism against the drive by the business community, both the provincial and federal governments filed review petitions in the SC regarding the anti-encroachment drive. PM Imran Khan also said that the government would stand with the people who had been affected by the drive and would not permit exploitation of the residents under the pretext of the ongoing drive.Meanwhile on Monday, the authorities initiated an anti-encroachment drive on Karachi Hyderabad M9 motorway. According to media reports, heavy machinery is being used to remove the encroachments and police teams are also present.Published in Daily Times, December 11th 2018.