QUETTA: The local administration on Wednesday launched a crackdown against encroachment made by owners of showrooms in different areas of the provincial capital.

The action followed orders of the Balochistan High Court, which recently took notice of the encroachments on public land and spaces by showroom owners and other illegal expansions in shops in thick-populated areas of Quetta.

The court had ordered the officials of the local administration to remove all such encroachments that were creating hurdles in the movement of the people and smooth flow of traffic.

The staff concerned of the local administrated, led by Assistant Commissioner of City Sania Safi, launched the crackdown and sealed 15 showrooms on Fatima Jinnah road and surrounding areas.

Talking to Dawn, Ms Safi said that showrooms owners had encroached on big portion of roads and that was creating problems in movement of traffic and even pedestrians were finding it difficult to use footpath because they had been encroached.

She said that showroom owners had been served notices several times in the past, but they did not remove encroachments and after that action against them was unavoidable.

However, the President of Showroom Owners’ Association, Muhammad Nawaz, criticised the action of the local administration and claimed that a majority of the showroom owners had not encroached the road or footpaths.

“Sealing the showrooms is quite a harsh action on the part of the government,” he said, adding that no public space had been encroached.

Meanwhile, the Anti-Encroachment Cell of the local administration also raided different areas of city and served notices to more than two dozen shops selling motorcycles and other things.

“We launched a campaign against motorcycle shops on the complaints of the people received on the PM’s Citizen Portal,” a senior official of the Anti-Encroachment Cell, Muhammad Aslam, said.

Published in Dawn, July 11th, 2019