RAHIM YAR KHAN:
Encroachments are causing roadblocks and are becoming a nuisance for the people of Rahim Yar Khan. Locals claim that the traffic police and the district administration’s anti-encroachment staff seem to be the least bothered in clearing up occupied spaces. Recently, a campaign was launched to clear encroachments but improving the cramped situation of the city is still a distant dream.
A recent survey by Express News showed that the district administration failed to remove encroachments from different areas. As a result, these blockages are causing huge traffic jams during the day and at night. Long queues of vehicles can be seen stuck in traffic jams in different areas across the city, including Thali Chowk, Unilever Bridge, Chalan Wala Bridge, Pull near Nehar Bus Stand, Bypass Chowk, Chowk Bahadarpur, Abbasia Bridge and other areas.
A visit to the main market places and commercial areas in the city shows that encroachers have occupied the spots where they were previously removed from during earlier campaigns. They continue to run their businesses on encroached land.
The situation is getting worse with each passing day and commuting has become a nightmare for residents. The absence of traffic police personnel at major intersections and thoroughfares has added to the misery of commuters; vehicles can be seen stuck in a gridlock for hours.
Those entering and leaving Rahim Yar Khan have to wait in queues for a long time due to the negligence of the traffic police and the district administration. Further, shops and rickshaws on one side have staked their claim on Railway Chowk, hampering traffic in the area.
In addition to this, fruit and vegetable vendors have encroached land on both sides of the street outside Sabzi Mandi, while makeshift stalls from Chak No 72 to Bypass Chowk have made it extremely difficult for people to walk.
Since a flyover is under construction at the Abbasia Pull, one side of the street all the way from City Bride to Abbasia Bridge has been closed, while the other side of the street has been encroached by public transporters and roadside hotels.
In view of the chaotic situation, citizens demand that the authorities depute traffic police personnel at such spots during rush hours to ensure the smooth flow of traffic. They say that all the encroachments in the city should be removed with immediate effect and that the officials concerned should take measures to ban rickshaws and other public transport from parking at these locations. They say that despite many complaints, nothing has been done to improve the situation, adding they are facing a lot of problems because of these makeshift stalls, established on pavements and other public space.
The citizens demand that the district administration impose a ban on public transport vehicles which are on the roads without proper back lights and reflectors so that road accidents could be avoided. They demand that an all-out operation be carried out to end illegal encroachments in the city.