KARACHI: Roadside encroachments in different areas of the city are on the rise as pre-Eid shopping season is about the start.
Vendors and shopkeepers have began occupying roads and footpaths in busy commercial areas of Saddar, Empress Market, Regal, Liaquatabad, Malir, Liaquat Market, Burns Road, Haideri, Jamia Cloth Market, Gulberg, Tariq Road, Kharadar and other areas.
Due to mushroom growth in footpath encroachments, pedestrians have to walk on roads. In Karachi doing business on encroached footpaths and roads is an old tradition as corrupt police and municipal bureaucracy fully facilitate the illegal encroachers in return of bribery.
In Karachi even car dealers park their cars on footpaths and roads and to facilitate them very wide and spacey footpaths have been constructed for them on New M A Jinnah Road. Two third width of this busy road and whole footpaths are occupied illegally by the car sellers here and no civic agency take any action against them, though this illegal encroachment creates serious traffic jams in the area on daily basis. This menace could be easily overcome if the city government erects railings on footpaths to prevent car parking and car selling on them.
The road from Dak Khana to Liaquatabad number 10 is another paradise of illegal encroachers, who do business of main road and its footpaths. These illegal encroachers are not being disturbed though they cause immense traffic jams in the area. Same is the case of the encroachers of M A Jinnah Road, Jamia Cloth Market and Burns Road.
In Saddar Empress Market area, in recent past the administration had removed encroachers from Empress Market to Regal, but again these illegal encroachers have began occupying roads and streets. The opening of New Preedy Street at Saddar Dawakhana area is occupied by vendors who sell fruits, second hands shoes and other flea market items; however, the concerned authorities do not take any action to vacate roads and footpaths from them. Wrong flow of traffic in this area despite the presence of traffic police is another cause of frequent traffic jams in this busy area.
It is feared that the illegal encroachments of roads and footpaths would further rise as the Eidul Fitr approaches nearer if the concerned civic agencies failed to take any serious action to clean roads and footpaths of busy commercial areas from encroachers.