KARACHI: The anti-encroachment drive in the surrounding areas of Empress Market is almost complete. Up to 90% of the encroachments have been removed, while cleaning up of debris is still in progress.
The shops built in the premises of the historic building have been evacuated and almost 280 shops, built in passage, have also been issued notices. Karachi Metropolitan Corporation's (KMC) anti-encroachment cell, in the presence of police and Rangers, demolished markets and shops in the surrounding areas of Empress Market on Sunday. The debris is being removed while the structure of the historic building was washed with the help of a snorkel on Monday.
According to KMC's Municipal Commissioner Dr Saifur Rehman, the heritage building will be restored to its past glory and parks and gardens will be built around the market.
Over 1,700 shops demolished in Karachi
The building will be embellished in a new way, crumbling or damaged roof will be mended, railings will be fixed and stones of the building will be polished. The clock will also be mended. He added that the broken old glass windows will also be replaced.
Dr Rehman said that as per the Supreme Court's order, the market's historical look would be restored and a library and art gallery will be estabilshed inside the building. He added that a committee of professionals has been formed for this purpose.
Anti-encroachment drive slows down
The board includes professional architects who would help bring the building back to its original look. Dr Rehman said that KMC would provide funds in the first development phase and later the Sindh Government would be requested to provide funds.
He said that the difficult task of removing encroachments had been completed and now the work for its development will start.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 13th, 2018.
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