KARACHI: As many as eight monitoring camps, manned by Karachi Metro­politan Corpora­tion (KMC) staff, have been set-up to ensure no area around Empress Market and adjacent streets in Saddar was encroached upon by vendors and pushcarts as the KMC’s anti-encroachment operation in the vicinity continued for the third consecutive day on Tuesday.

Mayor Wasim Akhtar told Dawn that the anti-encroachment drive would continue around the iconic Empress Market — constructed between 1884 and 1889 — throughout Ramazan to free the entire area from thousands of pushcarts, vending stalls, and other concrete encroachments.

He said that the operation, which began on May 20, was aimed at restoring the beauty of the iconic Empress Market and saving thousands of travellers, shopkeepers and other visitors in Saddar from inconvenience caused by these illegal structures and hurdles on main roads and pavements.

The mayor, along with Municipal Commissioner Dr Syed Saif-ur-Rehman and other KMC officials, visited Empress Market and other adjoining streets to review the action against encroachers; he said that the KMC staff and police personnel would be on duty at the monitoring camps round the clock to ensure no vendors or pushcarts encroached on the area.

He said that the Empress Market was constructed in 1889 and became a landmark in Karachi. “We will make this place better,” he vowed.

The mayor claimed that hundreds of pushcarts, patharas and other encroachments were removed during this operation and the whole corridor in front of Empress Market would be made free from any encroachments.

The mayor said that all banners, billboards and hoardings, and cable wires would also be removed during this operation from and around Empress Market and trees would be planted.

Visit to Malir

Meanwhile, he said that development works of N-5 project at Malir-15 was being done speedily and would be completed by June 2018 providing considerable convenience to people in this area and thousands of citizens using Sharea Faisal on a daily basis.

He shared this while talking to the media on a visit to the ongoing development work in Malir-15 and other adjoining areas.

The mayor also surprised the residents of Malir as he visited the vicinity on a motorcycle along with the chairman of Korangi’s District Municipal Committee.

Later, he met with the residents of various areas of Malir and listened to their problems. He said that people in Malir were also facing problems in their daily life as no one paid attention to their troubles.

However, he said, the present local government leadership wanted to solve their problems as soon as possible and all funds allocated for development works were being used for public welfare projects.

The mayor also inspected the carpeting work at Malir 15 and gave necessary directives to concerned officials.

Published in Dawn, May 23rd, 2018