Drive to continue: KMC scrambles to keep on top of encroachment problem

Karachi administrator Rauf Akhtar Farooqui says encroachments are the traffic police’s problem.


Our Correspondent July 05, 2014

KARACHI:


The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC)’s anti-encroachment task force has once again kicked off its drive against encroachments to improve the movement of traffic.


“Yesterday I got stuck in traffic near Gulbahar sanitary market and it took me two hours to go from Lasbella Bridge to the Golimar roundabout,” said Farid Memon, a resident of the old Golimar area.

Although the administration has taken several steps including deployment of extra contingents of traffic police along with city wardens, the situation remains unchanged as makeshift stalls continue to operate in 600 bazaars presently in the city.

The KMC anti-encroachment task force director, Mazar Khan, said that the department was already aware of the situation and was working to clear the areas. “On Friday, we removed encroachments for the third time from the Liaquatabad Bazaar area but, unfortunately, these encroachers always come back and disturb the flow of the traffic,” he said. “A comprehensive policy needs to be chalked out after a consensus with the traffic police to keep the areas permanently clear of encroachments.”

Karachi administrator Rauf Akhtar Farooqui has informed the media several times that it was now the responsibility of the traffic police to continue to keep the areas clear from encroachments since the KMC had already carried out a successful anti-encroachment drive. “I don’t know why the traffic police do not carry out their duties. The traffic is at its worst right before iftar, it is their job to manage it,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Sindh Tajir Ittihad president, Jamil Ahmed Paracha, said that the government should not take away the livelihood of the poor people in Ramazan. “The government should, on a temporary basis, establish small bazaars on empty grounds for these push carts vendors and makeshift stalls owners so that they can continue to earn an income,” he suggested.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 6th, 2014.

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