ISLAMABAD: Increasing encroachments along the Korang Nullah at Bhara Kahu on the Simli Dam main road pose a potential risk of urban flooding in the region.
The issue has raised concerns among federal capital authorities.
Locals claim that the Korang Nullah embankments in the area have been vacant as green belts for years, but in the last two decades, the space has been encroached upon by the land mafia.
Sidra Batool, a young journalist from the area, said the authorities were allegedly hesitating or ignoring the encroachments of the squatters, who encroached on the natural watercourse’s right of way but claim it as their ancestral property.
He pointed out that the former Chief Justice of Islamabad High Court, Justice Athar Minallah, had categorically decided in his verdict to ensure uninterrupted water flow of water channels across the capital to avoid any future disaster of urban floods.
Moreover, Ahmed Mumtaz, a local resident, alleged that the road passing by the Korang River was widened through land expansion to raise the route, which was later used by encroachers to construct houses in a green area.
He demanded the authorities of the capital territory to ensure the general enforcement of the law to protect the natural water channel.
According to Aamir Abbas Khan, Deputy Director of Legal and Enforcement of the Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA), the issue of encroachments along the Korang Nullah is mainly being addressed by the CDA and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Administration, according to the law.
However, he noted that the situation was critical as the recurring pattern of unpredictable monsoons in the region had increased the risk of urban flooding due to the reduction in the passage of the natural water channel.
He went on to say that it is easy to trespass on man-made spaces, but when it comes to nature, the consequences can be severe and difficult to manage.
He cited the recent E-11 incident as an example, which highlights the importance of protecting the drain embankments, springs and nullahs that naturally flow through the city in order to prevent any future urban flooding.