IT seems that to rid a residential neighbourhood, even in so-called affluent Clifton, of an illegal kiosk selling tobacco products is impossible unless you happen to be really well-connected. For the past few weeks we have tried our best to rid our residential area — in Karachi’s Clifton Block V — of such a shop. The shop in question emerged one fine morning on a location where a KMC dumpster used to be placed.

We have made several complaints to the administration of Saddar Town, speaking in particular to an assistant district officer. He gave us several assurances that the said khokha would be removed ‘in days’ but so far, these have not been honoured.

After a few weeks when we asked him again, he repeated what he had said — that it would be removed ‘soon’ and that the delay was being caused because the arm of the town administration that deals with encroachments and their removal was ‘the land department’.

We can only wonder why the municipal authorities cannot take action to remove what is clearly an illegal shop constructed in a residential area. In any case, residents shouldn’t have to complain because this is the town administration’s job. We also tried calling the administrator of the Saddar Town administration, but he would never pick up his cellphone either.

So, now, we are left with no option but to write a letter to a newspaper, in the hope that our plea will be noticed by someone in a reasonably senior position and he or she will order removal of this illegal shop. If this is not done, then the many children who live in our neighbourhood will continue to be exposed to the sale of harmful tobacco products right next to their homes.

RESIDENTS (Name withheld on request) Karachi

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