ISLAMABAD: The increasing encroachments along the Korang Nullah in Bhara Kahu on the main Simli Dam Road are becoming a potential risk of urban flooding in the area.
The issue has raised concerns among federal capital authorities.
The locals claim that the embankments of Korang Nullah in the area have been vacant as green belts for years, but in the past two decades, the space has been encroached upon by the land mafia.
Sidra Batool, a young journalist from the area, said that the authorities are allegedly hesitant or ignorant of the encroachments done by the occupants, who have intruded into the right of way of the natural watercourse but are claiming it as their ancestral property.
She highlighted that the former chief justice of the Islamabad High Court, Justice Athar Minallah, had categorically ruled in his verdict to ensure unimpeded water flow of water channels across the capital to avert any future disaster of urban flooding.
Additionally, Ahmed Mumtaz, a local resident, claimed that the road passing by Korang River was expanded through land expansion to elevate the route, which was later utilized by the encroachers to construct houses on what was earlier a green area.
He demanded that the capital territory authorities ensure across-the-board enforcement of the law to protect the natural water channel.
According to Aamir Abbas Khan, Deputy Director of Legal and Enforcement at the Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA), the issue of encroachments along the Korang Nullah is primarily handled by the CDA and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Administration, in line with the law.
However, he noted that the situation was critical, as the recurring pattern of unpredictable monsoon rains in the region had increased the risk of urban flooding due to the reduction of the natural water channel’s right of way.
He went on to say that it’s easy to encroach on human-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 embankments of drains, springs, and nullahs that flow naturally through the city, in order to prevent any future urban flooding.