KARACHI: Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) has launched a massive campaign to free Karachi roads from illegal parking lots and other encroachments. The initiative was taken by the department on the orders of Minister for Information and Local Bodies Sharjeel Inam Memon.
However, despite the initiative, the department has not paid heed towards illegal parking lots being run right under the nose of local bodies’ offices at Sindh Secretariat and KMC offices at Civic Centre.
The illegal parking lot being run at the pavement of Karachi Museum, in front of Sindh Secretariat Gate, is managed by a man named Abdul Raheem. Talking to PPI, he admitted that the parking lot was illegal and said that it was run with the support of police and secretariat officials.
The parking lot was also a grave concern for security as several high profile bureaucrats and politicians have their offices inside the secretariat and these parking lots could be used as a place to fulfil an extremist act.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a security official standing at Sindh Secretariat gate told PPI, that these parking lots cause an imminent danger as anyone could park his bike without being noticed and checked.
Similarly, the illegal parking lots being run under the KMC building should also be a great concern for KMC officials as it had been carrying out operations against encroachments in the city but it is not able to eliminate illegal parking lots just outside their offices.
The amount charged by illegal parking lots at both locations is Rs 10 for each motorcycle and Rs 20 for each car which is also a violation as the rates charge by the KMC department were Rs 5 for each motorcycle and Rs 10 for each car.
When contacted, Head of KMC anti-encroachment Cell, Bilal Manzar said that majority of the parking lots run under KMC offices were legal and they had acquired permission to run them, however, he said that the KMC had not authorized any parking lot outside Sindh Secretariat and action would be taken against any such encroachment.
“It is very difficult to eliminate such parking lots as they have no infrastructure or anything that could be seized to stop them from running that spot in future,” he said adding that it was the duty of traffic police to take action and display no-parking sign-boards at such sites so that no one could use it as parking lot.