KARACHI: An anti-encroachment drive in the metropolis’ Saddar area entered its fourth day on Thursday.
The operation was conducted around Tibet Centre, Akbar Road and Zaibunnisa Street on the Supreme Court’s orders to remove encroachments from Saddar and adjoining areas.
The apex court, on October 27, had ordered the removal of illegal encroachments in the city within the next 15 days.
However, as the operation entered the fourth day, shop owners were seen protesting outside Empress Market against the demolishing of their shops.
According to the shop owners, they have been paying the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) and other departments for the past 50 years and despite the payment, their shops were demolished.
The shop owners have demanded that they are provided with an alternative place or they will continue to protest.
Speaking to media, Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar said, “We want to return the city and Empress Market to its original state.”
“We do not want to repeat the mistakes of the past. Contracts of all those areas that KMC had given under rent have been terminated.”
He continued, “We will not take away anyone’s livelihood, we just want to remove the encroachments. If anyone takes the law into their hands we will take action against them.”
Terming the shop owners’ protest as illegal, Akhtar said, “All institutions should comply with SC’s orders and we will not let anything unlawful happen with anyone.”
“The business community is happy with the removal of encroachments,” he said, adding, “Those unemployed as result of the operation will be given an alternative space in another market.”