THE anti-encroachment drive in Karachi may have good intentions, but it has been horribly executed. Two years ago, this happened at and around the Empress Market, including the lane adjacent to the Rainbow Centre. There is no electricity in the market with shopkeepers established there since three generations being unable to have freezers and thereby losing substantial income. They have also lost the toilets and godowns in the market for which nothing has been done thus far.

Shops in the lane were demolished and boulders and debris were left unattended. Hawkers in droves moved in and set up their ‘establishments’ over the boulders and debris. I have lodged a complaint twice on the Citizen Portal, but no acknowledgement or action has been taken thus far.

To add to our woes, Lines Area has been dug up for the last couple of months in connection with some development work which is nowhere close to completion. The road on half of our lane was also dug up, and now we are told that it was an error. Nothing is being done to rectify the error (as can be seen in the picture above by Mohammad Hussan).

The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) says its domain ends at Student’s Restaurant, and the cantonment board concerned informs us that its territory ends at the Rainbow Centre. So, who is in charge of the land in between, and who do we approach? This is true administrative chaos.

The government seriously needs to do a feasibility study of projects it dreams of. Only then, it should make a detailed plan and closely supervise its execution if it is to gain respect from the public.

Sunnu F. Golwalla

Karachi

Published in Dawn, January 17th, 2021

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