KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Wednesday directed the local administration to end a food street being set up in the evening on a portion of Burns Road and open the key thoroughfare to vehicular traffic.

While allowing two petitions filed against the closure of the road due to a food street, the two-judge bench headed by Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi remarked that fundamental rights of people could not be compromised in the name of a food street.

The bench set aside a notification issued by the district administration of South for setting up the food street and directed the authorities concerned to open Burns Road and allied streets within two days.

The bench also issued directives for removal of all encroachments from roads and footpaths.

On a previous hearing, the SHC had expressed its resentment over closure of the road daily in the evening to facilitate food businesses operating in the food street, disturbing the traffic flow and asked the authorities that under which law the road had been closed to traffic.

Some area residents had petitioned the SHC in February 2021 and submitted that the petitioners and other residents were facing extreme difficulties due to the decision of the district administration to block the thoroughfare between 7pm and 2am in the name of ‘food street’.

They argued that people were facing hardship as the diversion of traffic to narrow lanes in the Burns Road area causing inconvenience and restricting their free movement while an elderly woman had died due to the evening traffic restrictions as she could not be provided with emergency medical relief.

They sought directive for the district administration to withdraw the notification with regard to closure of roads so that residents and other people were not denied access to the road.

Published in Dawn, February 23th, 2023

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