KARACHI: The city and municipal administrations on Friday decided to give alternative shops to as many as 150 shopkeepers whose unauthorised establishments located inside Empress Market were demolished during the ongoing anti-encroachment operation.
Officials said a meeting chaired by Mayor Wasim Akhtar and City Commissioner Iftikhar Shalwani decided that the affected 150 shopkeepers would be given shops in the first phase of rehabilitation of displaced traders.
They said that the owners of the shops located outside Empress Market would be given alternative shops in three phases.
The officials said that the alternative shops would be given in the Parking Plaza in the first phase, followed by allotment of shops in nearby markets of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation.
They said that in the third phase, affected shopkeepers would be allotted land for their shops.
The meeting was attended by Metropolitan Commissioner Dr Syed Saif-ur-Rehman and representatives of all other civic organisations.
Encroachments on city drains
It was also decided in the meeting that all concrete structures or other encroachments on city drains, footpaths, parks and roundabouts would be removed immediately irrespective of their falling in any jurisdiction.
Action will be taken on M.A. Jinnah Road, Arambagh, Jama Cloth Market, Khori Garden, Lea Market and other areas for removal of encroachments.
Banks and other such organisations, which have set up their power generators or established parking sites on city footpaths and did not shift or remove these in three days, will face action.
During the meeting police and Rangers were thanked for providing cooperation in the campaign against encroachments and it was decided to further speed up the action and lodge FIRs against those who created hurdle in government works.
Later, the mayor along with the city commissioner and municipal commissioner visited the internal and outer sides of Empress Market and reviewed the situation.
Talking to media representatives, the mayor said that this campaign was not initiated by a single organisation or a person, but was coordinated by various responsible organisations on the directive of the Supreme Court and all decisions were made in consultation with all these organisations. Besides, Sindh Minister for Local Government Saeed Ghani was also taken into confidence.
He said that the promise made by the city commissioner with the people of Empress Market would be fulfilled while the debris and waste from around the market had been lifted.
Now action against encroachments on city drains and footpaths was initiated without considering the jurisdiction of an organisation.
The mayor said that those who cooperated in this campaign would be provided with alternative place for their business.
The mayor also visited the Parking Plaza in Saddar along with the commissioner and inquired about the facility. He said that cleaning work would soon be done here.
Published in Dawn, November 17th, 2018