KARACHI: As many as 202 shops constructed on the footpaths around the Karachi Zoo were demolished on Saturday by the anti-encroachment staff of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, while 203 offices constructed on the first floor of the shops would be demolished on Sunday.
KMC’s Metropolitan Commissioner Dr Syed Saif-ur-Rehman, who monitored the operation, told Dawn that in all 405 structures on the footpaths surrounding the zoo, which were rented out by the municipal administration over 40 years ago, would be demolished in the light of the Supreme Court’s order that had declared commercial activities in parks and on pavements across the city illegal.
He said that the workshops for repairs of heavy vehicles, including buses and trucks and automobile parts shops had surrounded the zoo that caused pollution in the area.
The municipal commissioner said that the international zoological and animal rights associations had termed the zoo site unsafe for the captives due to the high level of pollution around it.
He said that the Karachi Zoo was also botanical garden having thousands of trees, some of them 200 old.
Dr Rehman said that the affected shopkeepers would be given alternative spaces for their businesses.
He said that the shopkeepers had been duly intimated in advance about the anti-encroachment operation.
Meanwhile, the KMC staff continued the operation till late night as four teams of senior officers remained present on the site with heavy machinery. District administration officers, police, Rangers, and representative of power and gas utilities were also present during the operation.
Officials said that the anti-encroachment staff did not face any resistance from the shopkeepers who had already removed their goods.
Talking to the media, the municipal commissioner said that constructions and structures made on footpaths, roads, streets, parks and drains were being demolished on the orders of the Supreme Court.
He said that no chemical shops were established near the zoo in the world as it was against the right of animals.
Published in Dawn, January 6th, 2019