KARACHI: To retrieve the main streets and footpaths of the city from encroachers, the law enforcing agencies have planned a big operation against the Pathara mafia of Karachi and main bodies of Karachi traders are fully supporting the move.
The LEAs have decided to take action against the menace of encroachments after the failure of Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) and police to make the streets of the city free from illegal encroachments.
All Karachi Tajir Ittehad Chairman Atiq Mir told PPI on Tuesday that the Pathara mafia mints Rs50million per day and it was amongst the big ‘industries’ of Karachi. H said more than 40precent streets and footpaths of the city have been occupied by the encroachers and genuine traders are suffering losses because serious customers do not visit their markets due to the streets congested because of Patharas everywhere.
He said there are more than 0.1mn Patharas in the city, mostly in the crowded Saddar and Old City areas of Karachi. He appealed the shopkeepers not to display their goods on footpaths before their shops as footpaths are exclusively for the pedestrians.
Mir suggested organizing flea markets or Pathara zones on the pattern of Bachat bazaars in different areas of the city on available open spaces so that small vendors could also earn their livelihood. He said even the most developed cities have such flea market zones. However, he said in no case vendors should be allowed to occupy roads and footpaths and create hurdles for traffic and pedestrians.
However, he suggested removing the black sheep from the government departments that are protecting and promoting the Pathara mafia as without taking them on the dream to make Karachi an encroachment-free city could not be materialized. He said the traders of Karachi would cooperate with the police and rangers in the proposed operation against Patharas in main city markets that is to be launched in a couple of days.