Anti-encroachment drive: Shops, parking sheds demolished in Nathiagali

Leases cancelled over illegal structures, non-payment of rent.

Our Correspondent November 20, 2014

ABBOTABAD: At least five shops and two parking sheds were demolished on Wednesday by civic authorities in Nathiagali bazaar during the second phase of an anti-encroachment drive.

“These occupants have been illegally using the government’s land measuring four to eight feet,” said an official of Galiyat Development Authority (GDA) who was accompanying Assistant Commissioner Mir Raza along with Frontier Highway Authority and police contingents.

The demolition squad went to Nathiagali bazaar and razed four shops which were part of Nishat Hotel, a cemented structure housing Jehangir Tyre Shop and two sheds of Al-Khiyam and Taj Mahal hotels. The drive was not met with any resistance.

According to GDA officials, the occupants were served mandatory notices but they failed to abide by them. The lease of all seven occupants was cancelled as they were not only illegally occupying GDA’s land by narrowing the road but were also defaulting on payment of rent.

GDA Director General Nazar Shah said Galiyat is being cleared of encroachments so that state-of-the-art facilities can be introduced to encourage tourism in the area. The roadsides, he said, are being cleared by 60 feet from the centre.

Galiyat bazaar has almost been cleared of illegal setups and the few that are left would soon be demolished under the Right to Way law.

During the first phase of the drive in May, the extended portions of over 150 shops, hotels and other permanent structures were either demolished by the anti-encroachment squad or were removed voluntarily by the occupants themselves.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 21st, 2014.


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