Discriminatory practice: Poor targeted, rich spared in anti-encroachment drive in Sukkur

Most influential encroachers have tampered property documents, says railway official


Our Correspondent June 18, 2016
Railways authorities carried out an anti-encroachment drive in different areas of Sukkur including Garam Godi and Shalimar railway crossing among others. PHOTOS: EXPRESS

SUKKUR: An anti-encroachment drive in Sukkur has been ongoing for the last six months during which majority of structures by the poor people have been demolished but those owned by influential people have been largely ignored.

Railway authorities are also carrying out anti-encroachment drive from time to time and they too target the poor people.

Recently, railway authorities carried out an anti-encroachment drives in different areas of Sukkur, including Garam Godi and Shalimar railway crossing among others.

Some of the residents including, Junaid, Shabbir and Dost Ali, whose houses were demolished in Garam Godi and Shalimar railway crossing complained about the double standards of the railway authorities.

Anti-encroachment squad demolishes over 200 shops in Khanpur

Sharing their views, they expressed that the authorities don't hesitate for a minute in demolishing our houses, but don't have the guts to demolish the office of an electronic media house and others. They also said they are prepared to pay per square foot rate of the railway land but the authorities are not accepting their offer.

The double standards sparked anger among the residents, who posed strong resistance, but were forced to flee by the police.

The last time when the railway authorities demolished the houses near Shalimar crossing, Senator Islamuddin Shaikh's son Arsalan Shaikh, who is the candidate for the mayor of Sukkur Municipal Corporation, intervened and thus the operation was stopped.

Railways divisional superintendent Aijaz Ahmed Buriro told The Express Tribune that anti-encroachment drive appears to be one-sided as most of the influential persons including media personnel have tampered the property documents in connivance with the railway officials.

"I want to remove all the encroachments without any discrimination, but neither the police nor the district administration is helping in this regard," he explained.

He also said a 'merciless' anti-encroachment drive will start after Eid. In the first phase, commercial encroachments will be demolished, while in the second phase other encroachments will be targeted.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 19th, 2016.

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