Karachi deserves encroachment-free streets
KARACHI: Pasban Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman Altaf Shakoor here Sunday said that the megacity Karachi deserves encroachment-free streets to facilitate citizens.
In a statement, he said the issue of roadside encroachments is a serious one which should be resolved on sustainable basis. He said illegal intra-city bus terminals is another issue that is being ignored by the provincial and city governments and related cantonment boards of the city for decades.
He demanded of the government to arrange organized ‘flea markets’ in different areas of the megacity to facilitate pedestrians and also to save hawkers and vendors from joblessness.
Commenting on the ongoing lukewarm drive against roadside vendors in some areas of the megacity, he said the affected street vendors should also accommodated by arranging organized flea markets for them on the pattern of developed megacities. He said in all megacities, proper portions of some streets and areas are specified where hawkers could establish their stalls of prescribed size during some agreed hours of the day, so that traffic and pedestrians must not suffer and the hawkers also earn their livelihood in a respectable way. He said this model of modern flea markets should be introduced in Karachi also.
He said no civilized society allows the encroachment of their roads and streets by vendors and hawkers, but in such societies some organized and disciplined flea markets are arranged to ensure that these hawkers also earn their livelihood without disturbing traffic and pedestrian movement.
Altaf Shakoor said that sadly in Karachi there is a powerful Pathara mafia that has already occupied footpaths and streets in many busy parts of the megacity. He said stern action should be taken against this mafia, but the genuine vendors and hawkers should be provided suitable places and sites to run their flea markets in a legal, disciplined and organized manner.
He said it is our ill luck that in megacity Karachi, two most powerful mafias, transporter mafia and encroachment mafia, enjoy full patronage of the corrupt government officials. He said this government-patronized corruption and lawlessness is unacceptable and every law abiding citizen should condemn it strongly.
Altaf Shakoor; however, advised street vendors that instead of setting up spacious ‘Patharas’ and big kiosks on footpaths, they should erect modern vending stands, which would hardly need an area of one foot. He said such small stalls and stands would not hamper the movement of pedestrians or commuters and besides they would ensure that street vendors are also doing their business in a respectable and accepted manner.
He also demanded to remove all illegal intra-city bus terminals from Taj Complex, Saddar and other areas of the megacity and ban entry of all sorts of intra-city buses in the limits of Karachi city so that they can use the officially designated bus terminals of Suhrab Goth and Yousuf Goth Saeedabad in a proper way. He said banning entry of intra-city buses in Karachi would also help in resolving traffic jam issues in busy residential and commercial areas of the megacity.
PDP Chairman said that Karachi is a one of the biggest cities of the world and it should be run on modern city administration basis. He said we have been demanding for long to give the megacity of Karachi the status of a Charter City so that its citizens could run the civic matters of their city in an efficient and better way.