LAHORE: Provincial Minister for Housing Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed has formed a task force to launch a crackdown against land grabbers and encroachers in the provincial metropolis.
Lahore Division Commissioner Mujtaba Paracha will head the task force while other members include Lahore Development Authority (LDA) Director General, Capital City Police Officer (CCPO), DIG Operations, Deputy Commissioner Lahore and Chief Officer of Lahore Metropolitan Corporation. The team has been directed to finalise its term of references (TORs) and put forward a comprehensive strategy in this regard within the three days, positively.
Presiding over a meeting at the Chief Minister Secretariat on Monday, Provincial Minister for Housing, Mian Mehmood ur Rasheed directed officials for launching an indiscriminate operation against land grabbers and encroachers. He further directed for carrying out a joint operation by involving persons of all the relevant departments. "The operation should start with influential groups without any relaxation."
Punjab CM orders action against land mafia
The meeting was informed that the properties under illegal occupations of land grabber had been identified and their list had been prepared. It was further told in the meeting that the police force, as well as the machinery required for the operation, will be provided as and when needed and additional force has been arranged for this purpose.
People blame traders for renting out space in front of their shops for Rs7,000 to Rs10,000 per month to roadside vendors
A few days ago, Senior Punjab Minister Abdul Aleem Khan has said the Punjab government will launch a grand operation against encroachments across Punjab. He said that everyone would be given one week time and very after ‘ashoora' this drive to take place in all the cities of Punjab where district administration to ensure 100% result for removing encroachments.
Encroachment in markets in Lala Musa
Encroachments have also become a nuisance for the people of Lala Musa. Locals claimed that traffic police and anti-encroachment staff of the district administration seemed least bothered about clearing the occupied spaces, Express News has reported.
Residents said the district administration has failed to remove encroachments from different markets, including the main bazaar and sarafa bazaar. Encroachments are causing traffic jams, while long queues of vehicles could be seen stuck in traffic gridlocks for hours.
‘Multan DC demands bribe to free land from grabbers’
According to a survey conducted by the Express News, shoppers are the most affected due to large-scale encroachments. To make matters worse, shopkeepers have permanently kept large objects on the roadside. The dealers encroached on the footpath and made the area a part of their shops by increasing the shed up to 50 feet.
People blame the traders for renting out space in front of their shops for Rs7,000 to Rs10,000 per month to roadside vendors and pushcart owners.
Bilal Sajid, a resident of Haji Pura, said that commuting has become difficult for people in the city. "It takes more time to reach a destination due to traffic jams. The government should take action against encroachers and devise an effective plan to resolve the matter."
Similarly, Rubina Aslam, a resident of Lalazar Colony, said: "The beauty of this city has been tarnished due to encroachments." She maintained, "Encroachers should be arrested and fined."
Irate residents complained that encroachments had increased on a massive scale in markets and trade centres. They demanded that the authorities take action and devise a proper parking plan to resolve the issues.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 25th, 2018.
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