KARACHI: Reacting to allegations levelled by a provincial lawmaker of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf regarding the ongoing massive anti-encroachment operation in Saddar and its adjoining areas, Mayor Wasim Akhtar said on Thursday that the action was being taken on the directives of the Supreme Court in a completely transparent manner.

A spokesperson for the mayor reminded the PTI’s member of the provincial assembly that the apex court mandated anti-encroachment operation was being conducted jointly by the KMC, city’s district administration, police, Rangers and other civic agencies concerned.

He said the city commissioner and heads of other civic and utility agencies remained on the spot during the action against encroachers and no high-handedness was committed in this regard.

The spokesman said that only those shops which were raised on pavements and lanes were demolished.

He said that no one could obstruct the implementation of the SC’s order for removal of encroachments and added that it was the authority of the apex court to stop the anti-encroachment action.

Tenancy agreement cancelled

Meanwhile, Mayor Akhtar said that the tenancy agreement, if any, with the owners of the unauthorised stalls and shops around the iconic Empress Market now stood cancelled and the affected vendors would be provided shops and stalls in others markets of the KMC.

He said that the city commissioner would form a committee to formulate the mechanism for giving the affected vendors shops in KMC markets after consultation with all stakeholders.

The mayor, who visited Saddar along with KMC Municipal Commissioner Dr Syed Saif-ur-Rehman, City Commissioner Iftikhar Shalwani and other officials, was briefing the media in front of the Empress Market.

Published in Dawn, November 9th, 2018