In league: Permanent encroachers in markets safe from CDA drives

Published: January 11, 2017

ISLAMABAD: Despite tall claims by the CDA about its anti-encroachment drive, the capital still has many flourishing permanent encroachers inside different markets and centres, invisible to the eyes of the authority’s encroachment staff.

Contrary to the authority’s claims that its anti-encroachment drive was in full swing, the ground reality is far from its purported claims, as operations are still limited to small and scattered vendors, mostly outside major markets.

Illegal food stalls, fruit shops, tea stalls, illegal tuck shops, workshops, roadside car showrooms and fish stalls  are aplenty and booming in major markets including Aabpara, Melody, Sitara Market and  other centres of Islamabad.

“These encroachments are embedded inside markets and centres with the permission of shopkeepers who illegally sublet the front portions of their shops to small vendors for Rs10,000 to Rs15,000 per month,” a small vendor in Melody Market told The Express Tribune, adding that CDA officials do not take action because shopkeepers provide  a cut to CDA officials.

The enforcement directorate, however, outlined the details of its anti-encroachment operations, pointing out that they had demolished illegal constructions removed encroachments and retrieved several kanals from illegal occupants.

Six illegal building material depots were removed from the green belt along Margalla Road in Sector E-11, while two containers being used for building material storage and one illegal kiosk in the same vicinity were demolished and ten kanals of government land vacated.

Further operations resulted in several fruit and fish stalls on Park road being removed and encroachment material confiscated.

It claimed that on the directions of the Islamabad mayor and CDA chairman, strict monitoring in the area was being ensured to discourage recouping of encroachments in the area. Another operation was carried out in Bari Imam, where six rooms in an under-construction building were demolished and four illegal sheds along Murree Road at Malpur Stop were removed.

Furthermore, the authority claimed that additional construction adjacent to kiosks in Street 32 of Sector G-8/4, an illegal shed at the green belt in front of G-8 Markaz, three building material depots in Sector G-8/1, three building material depots in G-8/4, six illegal fruit stalls in front of the Children’s Gate of Pakistan Institute of Medial Sciences (PIMS), and illegal construction adjacent to CDA-allotted kiosks were removed in Sector G-8/4.

Similarly, one construction material depot in Sector G-8/2, and two depots in Sector G-9 were removed. An illegal restaurant on the green belt in front of the NHA building, and an illegal kiosk near Margalla Tower, Sector F-10 were also razed.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 11th, 2017.

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