Anti-encroachment drive criticised by traders

Leaders question demolition of shopfront sheds

Khawar Randhawa May 27, 2024


Traders’ organisations have threatened to launch a protest movement against an ongoing anti-encroachment campaign initiated by metropolitan corporation and district administration.

According to the traders, not only structures built on encroached land but sheds erected above the gates of shops are also being demolished.

The Faisalabad Metropolitan Corporation had begun the drive in the eight bazaars around the Clock Tower intersection and 28 adjoining markets to clear the areas of encroachments by seizing tonnes of belongings, items and pushcarts. The anti-encroachment squads took the seized items to the warehouse of the corporation.

Kiryana Association President Aslam Bhalli complained while speaking to media persons that the campaign had been started without taking the traders’ organisations on board about a month ago. He said then traders would resist one-sided decisions imposed on them.

He said the traders’ leaders were always ready to sit with the administration to chalk out a plan for removing the encroachments.

Former deputy mayor Muhammad Amin Butt said the ongoing anti-encroachment campaign was different from the past ones as overhead sheds that provided shade in scorching heat in summer to passers-by without hindering their movement were being removed.

Anjuman-e-Tajran Muhammadi Chowk Secretary Muhammad Saeed said the administration should have issued an advisory and notices to the traders to remove the encroachments themselves while adopting a uniform policy for all the markets. However, unilateral action had been taken to remove the front sheds, he claimed.

He said that after a meeting of 200 shop owners of Waris Pura and Raja Chowk, they had issued a strike call against the campaign. He said the strike would continue till negotiations were held with the traders.

He said the corporation should devise a mechanism to be implemented by the traders with consultation, like allowing the iron sheds up to five feet in front of the shops.

A bicycle puncture repair shop owner, Nazir Ahmad, said he had to sit in sunlight amidst power load-shedding as officials had removed the shade.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 27th, 2024.


Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ