Encroachments on the rise in Potohar town

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Potohar town has been beset with encroachments, as shopkeepers and vendors have occupied most footpaths and open spaces in the area, causing traffic stoppages and problems for pedestrians.
Encroachers have set up stalls all over Potohar Town, including Adiala Road, Dhamial Road, Chakri Road, Morgah, Misrial Road, Kotah Kalan, Dhama More and several other areas.
Handcart bazaars have been established in several areas. These encroachers have slowly been edging towards the centre of the road, causing traffic jams and general congestion.
Chakri Road, which is nearly 120 feet wide, has been shrinking in breadth due to these encroachments. Adiala Road, Dhamial Road, Morgah and Kota Kalan have also become congested. These localities are administered by the Potohar Town TMA. The authorities have previously carried out anti-encroachment drives in the past, but to no avail.
Traffic jams have become a common occurrence on these roads as shopkeepers have occupied them on both sides. The accompanying noise and air pollution has also irked motorists and residents of these areas.
A visitor to Adiala Road said the authorities should launch a comprehensive drive to remove encroachments from the area which should be followed by strict monitoring so the road cannot be encroached again.
Faisal, a resident of Dhamial Road, said encroachers have occupied both sides of the road and left no space for car parking. He said authority staff members only visit the area in the morning to remove encroachments, but as soon as they leave, encroachers set up their stalls again.
“The authorities should come up with an effective strategy and officials should pay surprise visits at different times to remove encroachments,” he said.
Arif, another resident of the area, said apart from traffic jams they also suffered from noise pollution.
Goods displayed on the road and outside shops must be confiscated and encroachers should be fined, said another resident.
Citizens have urged the TMA to take strict action against shopkeepers, vendors and fruit and vegetable handcart owners who have been creating hurdles in the smooth flow of traffic.
Encroachment in different localities has become a nuisance, not only for motorists but also for residents of these areas, while the authorities have been paying little attention towards the problem.