Failed operation: Encroachments reappear in SaddarSeptember 3, 2014
KARACHI: Illegal occupation of footpaths and roads by pushcart and ‘Pathara holders’ has narrowed the arteries of Saddar area, especially around Empress Market, Bohri Bazaar, Regal and the opening of New Preedy Street.
The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation and other concerned departments have carried out dozens of ‘operations’ in this busy area to remove the encroachments but in vain. Area residents say these operations have failed and continue to fail because the encroachers and anti-encroachment officials are in fact hand and glove and there is a very strong relation of ‘Bhatta’ between them which could not be broken by any operation.
Recently, the Karachi administration had decided to lodge FIRs against the encroachers but later this decision was silently withdrawn as it may had disturbed the whole bhatta equation.
Social worker and writer Sarwat Siddiqui, who also resides in Saddar area, says without implementing the plan of Pedestrianisation of Saddar these encroachments could not be removed for good. She said the second phase of bus re-routing in Saddar area has been put on the back burner and the city administration should show a political will to implement it on war footing basis. She suggested to make functional the multi-storied car parking plaza of the city government on New Preedy Street to make this area rid of illegal parking and traffic jams.
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