Footpaths to be cleared from encroachers: DIG traffic

KARACHI: Stern action will be taken against illegal parking on service roads, motor workshops established along streets and roads, and auto sellers and fruit vendors who have illegally occupied footpaths in the metropolis, said Karachi Traffic Police DIG Dr Amir Ahmed Shaikh.

Dr Amir said the operation will be jointly organized by Karachi Traffic Police and Karachi Metropolitan Corporation’s Anti-encroachment Cell with the help of Sindh Rangers and Sindh Police to remove the illegal encroachments which are creating hurdles for the smooth flow of traffic in the city.

The official letters will also be sent to all concerned officials in this regard, he added.

Amir said, he already asked SSP Traffic Tahir to present report on traffic congested areas in the city and point out the most affected areas by the illegal encroachments. He said service roads and footpaths were established to facilitate public as they can walk on them freely but these were occupied illegally.

He said these illegal encroachments are behind 27 percent pedestrians’ accidents in the city as they walk on the middle of roads as footpaths have already been occupied.

He said they will carry out massive operation against these illegal encroachers soon as action taken against illegal vehicles in the city to facilitate public.

However, sources said corrupt bureaucracy is sheltering illegal occupation of streets and footpaths. In this regard they gave the example of Mohammad Hashim Gardezi Road just behind the Sindh Secretariat, the seat of Sindh government, where whole footpaths and portion of road is occupied by auto mechanics, printing presses, cooks and other people who are doing roaring business by occupying roads and footpaths just beneath the nose of Sindh government. The sources said how could anti-encroachment drive could be fruitful when the Sindh government is not able to remove illegal encroachments behind its own backyard.

The sources also quoted the example of Mohammad Bin Qasim Road in the same area where illegal shops of frame-makers have been established on road and footpath in front of the office of Education District South, up to the junction of Robson Road. They said the KMC, traffic police and other related agencies never take action against this type of encroachments in the city.