The city government’s anti-encroachment drive which started on March 11, appears to have lost momentum since the beginning of Ramazan.
In many areas of the city, the clean up drive has yet to begin.
These include Data Ganj Baksh Town and Ravi Town. Important markets in these areas include McLeod Road, Montgomery Road, Brandreth Road, Shah Alam Market, Gowalmandi, Urdu Bazaar, Anarkali Bazaar, Lytton Road, Abid Market and part of the Walled City.
As CDGL cleared main roads and recovered land belonging to its Revenue Department, most of the mobile encroachers moved to secondary roads and streets.
Encroachments have now also returned to some of the main roads including Allama Iqbal Road, GT Road (Do Moria Pul-Daroghawala), Circular Road, Model Town Link Road, Peco Road, Maulana Shaukat Ali Road, Ravi Road and some roads in Islampura, Sanda and Sanatnagar.
A CDGL official told The Express Tribune that it was very difficult to sustain the drive during Ramazan. He said that the town officials were too busy in Ramazan Bazaars. “Even senior CDGL officers have stopped pushing the TMOs to continue the drive,” he said. Another official said the resources dedicated to the drive had been ‘wasted’ due to this break.
Jahanzeb Shafiq, a trader at the Montgomery Road auto spare market, said that it was not practical for the traders to restrict their businesses to their shops. He said wares had to be displayed to attract the customers.
He said the market associations had requested the city government to allow the traders some room and mark some place where customers could park their vehicles, but to no avail.
Tariq Zaman, principal staff officer to the district coordination officer, told The Tribune that the drive would continue after Ramazan. He said that traders in the Ganj Baksh Town markets had been given some time to resolve the issue themselves after they requested for it. “We have started action against eight illegal buildings in the Walled City.
Talking about the return of encroachments in various areas where the city government had carried the clean up drive, Zaman said that the matter would be looked at after Ramazan. He said if encroachers were found in these areas again, action will be taken against both the area in charge and the encroachers. He said the officers were currently busy operating the Ramazan Bazaars.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 18th, 2011.
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