PESHAWAR: In a major action against encroachments, the district administration removed over two-decade old structures of about 760 kiosks and cabins in the famous Karkhano Market here on Friday.
During the operation, the officials also removed the cattle and vegetable markets and illegal taxi stand and retrieved eight kanals state land worth millions of rupees along the railways track from land grabbers. Showing satisfaction over the anti-encroachment drive, some local traders, including Ali Akbar Shinwari and Wajid Khan, said that at least 70 per cent space meant for parking was cleared of the occupants.
They said that it was the longstanding demand of the business community because movement of the people, especially female customers, had become almost impossible. Besides, they pointed out that the owners of various kiosks were selling different products in violation of the ethics to attract young customers.
“Karkhano Market is the second largest market after Peshawar Sadder where mostly foreign goods are sold and a large number of customers usually visit it daily, but successive governments never paid serious attention to remove the encroachments,” they said.
Local people said that most of the encroachers were Afghan nationals. They said that some vendors had set up kiosks on the drain, which in fact was rented out by the influential people. They said that various edible items were being sold there despite unhygienic conditions.
The people said that it was the third operation in the area since the establishment of the market, but in the past the administration could not sustain the pressure of the influential mafia and the encroachers had returned.
The operation was carried out in the presence of Deputy Commissioner, Peshawar, Riaz Khan Mehsud, additional duputy commissioner Osama Ahmed Waraich, AC Peshawar Mumtaz Ahmed and other officers of the district administration.
The administration had issued 72-hour notices to the owners of all the structures, which had been built inside different markets without permission from the relevant department, to remove the same by themselves or face action.
Talking to media persons on the occasion, the deputy commissioner said that he had asked the Peshawar Development Authority to remove rubble from the retrieved land within three days and start development work on both sides of the railway track there.
Published in Dawn, April 18th, 2015