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Houses In Gharibabad Are Being Silently Demolished

At first the encroachments and evictions were noisy. But of late, they are happening more silently, with less media coverage. About 70 homes in Ghareebabad were served eviction notices, on March 21.

Ghareebabad is in the heart of the Karachi, a short walk away from II Chundrigar Road. It is one of 28 settlements under threat of demolition. These neighbourhoods are being evicted, for the construction of the Karachi Circular Railway project. The KCR is now under a list of CPEC projects.

Public transport is necessary for a city as populous as Kaarchi. But does progress have to come at such a heavy cost? There are families here comprising four generations. To outsiders, they may be buildings standing in the way of ‘progress’, but to community members, these localities tell their personal histories.

In the past Pakistan Railways, which is now evicting them, has collected rent from them. During elections, politicians have come to collect votes here. Were the residents not illegal then?

And now that the land is needed, their homes and histories have become illegal? Their ‘illegality’ has become less of an objective truth, and more of an excuse that the powerful use to their advantage.

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