PESHAWAR: The Peshawar district administration has demolished over 200 illegally constructed structures in the Darmangi area of the city along Warsak road for encroaching on the land of the irrigation department.
The anti-encroachment operation was carried out on the directives of Peshawar Deputy Commission Dr Imran Shiekh. The area’s Assistant Commissioner Abdul Wali Khan and Irrigation Department Peshawar SDO Mumraiz Khan, along with a heavy contingent of the police participated in the operation.
Officials claimed that prior to the operation, encroachers were given advance notices to remove or demolish their encroachment themselves. But when no response was received from the respondents, the operation was conducted. They added that the encroachers did not resist government action.
Irrigation SDO Mumraiz said that they had conducted the anti-encroachment operation after they received several complaints at their office about the low flow of water due to illegal construction near the rivers and streams in the area.
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“This was the start of the operations against illegal construction on our land, and we intend to replicate the operation in other parts of the province soon,” Mumraiz said.
Meanwhile, the district administration conducted an anti-encroachment operation against illegal settlements near the railway’s junction. But the operation fizzled out after anti-encroachment team allegedly took a bribe from the settlers and stall owner.
The owner of a vegetable stall at the junction told The Express Tribune that encroachers had built stalls and other structures on railway land over 40 years ago and were paying local officials on monthly basis to not evict them.
He added that officials had demolished the settlement overnight, but the vendors returned in the morning and rebuilt and occupied the land again.
If the district administration carried-out the operation on merit we would be pleased to vacate the spots voluntarily, but they always save their blue-eyed ones and dismantle the stalls of poor vendors like us, another stall owner complained.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 17th, 2019.
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