PESHAWAR: Residents have rejected the commercialisation of University Town and demanded an end to all business activities which have continued unchecked for many years.
A delegation of residents including the Town-III nazim met Senator Nauman Wazir and PTI leader Khalid Masood at Town Club on Friday. They expressed their reservations about the “commercialisation of University Town” and demanded an end to it, something residents consider a problem.
They complained they paid heavy taxes yet the government was not putting an end to burgeoning business activities in the neighbourhood. The district administration is working to remove shops in Hayatabad but not in University Town, said delegation members. There are more offices, schools, and clinics than houses in University Town, they complained.
Town-III nazim Mohammad Ali told The Express Tribune town authorities cannot seal commercial entities without support from the district administration. “Our town municipal officer has no magisterial powers; all we do is with the support of the district administration.” Ali said, “We issue a letter to the district and they provide us a magistrate and security [to help us take action].”
He added, “The cold attitude of the district government has forced us to form a committee – a forum for residents.” According to Ali, they would meet the chief minister and local government secretary to this end.
“It was the decision of the Peshawar High Court to seal schools, clinics, hospitals and NGO offices, but the people running these businesses resume their activities after two or three months.” Ali said, “After the government seals these places, it doesn’t pay much attention to [what becomes of them].”
MPA Yaseen Khalil has constituted a committee to resolve the issue of sealing the commercial offices.
Khalil told The Express Tribune, “We are forming a committee as this issue of sealing and unsealing offices is getting serious.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 23rd, 2016.