Encroachers free to occupy streets on holidays

Karachi: The organized mafia of encroachers has succeeded in frustrating the efforts of Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, police and other relevant departments to keep the Empress Market Saddar an encroachment-free area.

Despite, some half dozen operations recently, the government has failed to prove its writ in this busy commercial and residential area, as soon after every anti-encroachment operation these Patharawallas reoccupy the streets next days and in some cases as soon as the anti-encroachment return after their ‘successful’ operations. On the official holidays of Saturday and Sunday, the Patharawallas do a roaring business as they know that the staff of anti-encroachment cell of KMC is at home for at least two more days. However, the net sufferers are motorists, commuters and pedestrians.

The government is delaying the second phase of bus-rerouting in Saddar area to the dismay of Karachiites. A political will visibly lacks to make Saddar area a ‘pedestrian zone’, as it requires complete re-routing of public transport vehicles from this area, banning all sort of parking in this area, removing illegal bus terminals from here, and making the KMC car parking plaza fully functional. The provincial government, KMC, police and other related departments are not ready to take a holistic action on these four fronts, which is the only solution to get the area rid of encroachment and traffic jams.

The Karachiites have once again appealed to the Sindh Governor, Dr Ishratul Ibad Khan, KMC administrator, IGP police and other official stakeholders to complete the anti-encroachment operation in Empress Market area to its bitter end, as the success of this model is necessary to make the other such areas of the city free from encroachments.

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