LAHORE: The city district administration teams continued anti-encroachment operation in Shahalam market on the second consecutive day on Tuesday, demolishing 350 portions of shops.
The team also razed structures of almost 50 illegally built shops on state land.
“The estimated cost of the retrieved area is Rs3 billion,” reads a press release. In another operation at 21 roads declared model by the city admin, assistant commissioners sealed 16 shops for placing / showcasing goods outside the premises.
The city administration has delayed anti-encroachment operations in various critical areas of Lahore over the law and order situation.
On Oct 1, the administration issued a work plan to launch operations in several areas, including Harbanspura (Canal Road) and its adjoining localities and Madina Road (Township). The operation at Harbanspura could not start after scores of residents resisted teams on Oct 3. The Madina Road operation was also postponed in the light of Harbanspura incident.
A source said operation in Harbanspura and Madina Road localities would not be done because of the likely resistance by the people.
In Harbanspura, 6,000 state kanals, including 100 kanals or so on Canal Road, are under illegal occupation.
The Madina Road locality - a main market of Township - is occupied by shopkeepers who encroached open spaces (green belts etc). A city district spokesman said both Harbanspura and Madina Road have been marked “red” which means that they are very critical spots. Under a new strategy devised by the administration, the operation in such areas would be carried out after removing encroachments and retrieving state property from land grabbers.
He said the teams, under the government directions, would not launch operations at katchi abadis of Harbanspura. However, the operation to retrieve state-owned urban land facing canal would surely be carried out in near future, he said.
Published in Dawn, December 5th, 2018