Roadside eateries make windfall at cost of commuters

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Karachi: Roadside eateries have created crippling traffic jams in different areas of the city, particularly Burns Road and Hassan Square, causing great hardships for commuters and pedestrians.

In the so-called ‘food street’ of Burns Road both footpaths and half of road is occupied by eateries, who not only cook and roast their meals on footpaths but also serve them by placing chairs and tables on footpaths and roads. Related anti-encroachment officials do not take any action against them because these food traders are honest and regular in paying bribes. Some eateries selling Haleem and Biryani, a few shops selling Karahi and barbecue foods are notorious for occupying road and footpaths. Same is the case of a few shops selling Rebri and other sweets.

Similar situation could also be witnessed at the newly reconstructed University Road from Hassan Square up to Ashfaq Memorial Hospital where the owners of eateries have not only occupied major chunks of the footpaths and service roads, but they have employed staff to facilitate illegal parking of the cars of their customers along the Main University Road. However, like the food vendors of the Burns Road the food eateries of the Hassan Square University Road are also immune from any legal action. Here the stall selling fried fish and shops selling Koila Karahi and Sajji Ghosht are notorious for occupying footpaths and roads. The area police as well as the anti-encroachment officials fully know this illegally business but they opt to turn their blind eye to this scam for sake of their bribery.

Other notable ‘food streets’ near PECHS Society, Tariq Road, Shahra-e-Quaideen, Hussainabad and other areas of the city could also be seemed teemed with encroachers of roads and footpaths.

However, the citizens of Karachi, particularly the commuters are at the receiving end as their time and fuel is cruelly wasted; however, the area police Chowkis, police stations, traffic sections, and anti-encroachment departments are the main beneficiary at the cost of the hapless citizens. It is a sheer demise that the government that has reconstructed roads like University Road at the cost of billions of rupees is totally paralyzed to keep these streets free from encroachments.

Citizens suggest that as surveillance cameras have already been installed if the government officers just watch these areas through these cameras at lunch and dining hours, they could easily realized how the sharp police, traffic police and anti-encroachment departments easily dope and con them, further tarnishing the governance image of Sindh that is not already very laudable.

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