Islamabad: Shaban Khalid, President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry has called for removal of all slums (kachi abadis) that are illegal from the federal capital as they have become sanctuaries of criminals, pose great security threats, disturb peace of citizens and create hurdles in smooth growth of business activities as well.
He said many citizens living in the surroundings of illegal slums have shown great concerns as they face many risks from slums dwellers including security threats, burglaries etc.
Talking to a delegation of Fruits & Vegetable Market, Islamabad that called on him at ICCI, Shaban Khalid, said that instead of providing low cost housing facility, these illegal slums have become hub of business activities including sale of scrap, timber trade and warehousing etc. due to which the businesses in markets are suffering.
The mushroom growth of slums also occupies green areas in violation of CDA’s Master Plan and create many environmental problems for the city.
Tahir Ayub, Secretary General, Traders Welfare Association of Fruits & Vegetable Market, I-11, Islamabad said that businessmen have been demanding since long for removal of illegal kachi abadis due to security threats and the bomb blast in Sabzi Mandi in April 2014 killing 24 people had vindicated their concerns.
He said that illegal slums in Islamabad are a cause of concerns as they provide safe havens to criminals, promote illegal activities including gambling, drugs, arms sale etc. and create a sense of insecurity among the businessmen as well as the citizens living in the vicinity of slums.
ICCI President said many countries have removed slums from major cities for development purpose. India demolished about 67000 illegal constructions in Mumbai’s in 2005 as a part of urban rejuvenation plan. Similarly China demolished thousands of slums in Beijing in 2008 to develop the city on modern lines.
He stressed that government should take strong action against land mafias that encourage people to settle in slums to be able to get a share of compensation or resettlement package. The utility service providers to illegal slums including IESCO and SNGPL should also be looked into.
Shaban Khalid said CDA should develop a comprehensive plan to remove all illegal slums from Islamabad on permanent basis, which will help in improving the security situation and lead to better growth of business activities.
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