Karachi anti-encroachment operations enter seventh day


KARACHI: The anti-encroachment drive in the provincial capital’s Saddar area entered its seventh day on Sunday.

Bird market, cloth market and dried fruit market were the sites from which shops were removed.

“Encroachments around Empress Market will be removed in a few hours’ time with the area being restored to its original state in the next 15 days,” said Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) Anti-Encroachment Senior Director Bashir Ahmed Siddiqui.

“1043 illegal shops were demolished during the operation today, after the drive, KMC and the police will set up camps in Saddar to ensure that the encroachments do not return,” he added.

“A task force has been created to stop the encroachments in Saddar which will comprise KMC, anti-encroachment and police members,” he elaborated.

The Karachi Development Authority (KDA) team had halted the operation on Friday and then resumed it on Saturday.

The KDA demolished illegal constructions outside the shops at Samama Shopping Complex and Rabia City by using heavy machinery.

The shop keepers were also allowed to remove their items from the footpaths ahead of the operation.

The authorities said that the drive was launched across the country on the directives of the court while the shop keepers complained that they were not informed prior to the action.

Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar while speaking to the media outside Empress Market on Sunday said that they will restore Karachi to its natural and historical beauty.

“We want to restore the city to its original beauty,” he said.

Speaking about the land given by the KMC to the markets around Empress Market the mayor said, “The 30-year-old contract between KMC and the markets have been terminated.”

“In the old plans for Empress Market there were parks all around the market, however, markets were made on that land,” Akhtar said.

He added, “We will make parks on that land and will restore Empress Market to its original state.”

Akhtar continued, “KMC gave this land 30 years ago and we have terminated the contracts. A list of those who have been affected by the operation will be made and they will be provided with an alternative place.”

“Prime Minister Imran Khan told me in Islamabad that illegal encroachments be removed. We are working on the Supreme Court and PM’s directive,” he added.

Thanking all those involved in the operation, Akhtar assured that the encroachments on footpaths are being removed as well.

“We will not let anyone occupy any footpaths,” he asserted.

He added, “We do not want to affect anyone’s business and we will not repeat the mistakes of the past.”

Earlier on October 27, Chief Justice of Pakistan ordered to eliminate encroachments from Metropolitan city.



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