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November 7, 2018

More streets in Saddar cleared of illegal structures


November 7, 2018

Illegal steel structures outside shops were demolished in Saddar where on Tuesday as an anti-encroachment drive entered its second day.

The municipal commissioner of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), Dr Saif-Ur-Rehman, told The News that that Tuesday witnessed the second phase of the operation in which four teams were taking part, and in the third phase the citizens would see the Empress Market being restored to its original shape.

He added that this operation would continue as the Supreme Court had ordered making Karachi free of encroachments. On Tuesday, the drive was carried out on Preedy Street and around Lucky Star Parking Plaza, Cooperative Market, Rainbow Centre and Empress Market. Narrow lanes opposite the passport office were also cleared.

Police and other law enforcement agencies had cordoned off the area and no vehicular traffic was permitted to proceed towards streets where action was taken. The presence of heavy machinery and dumpers on the roads that were used to carry out the operation affected the flow of traffic.

Thousands of vehicles and ambulances got stuck on MA Jinnah Road and roads leading to Garden, Jubilee and Soldier Bazaar. Vendors and owners of the shops demolished in the operation said they had lost their bread and butter due to the drive. However, residents of the area said it was a good step as they would now be at ease.

Mayor Waseem Akhtar, who supervised the operation, said the Empress Market was Karachi’s heritage and they would restore its beauty. He said the encroachments had made this historical place dirty.

On October 27, a bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar, had heard a case against land mafia in Karachi at the Supreme Court’s Karachi registry, and issued orders for removing the encroachments.

On Monday, the KMC’s anti-encroachment department kicked off the operation to comply with the apex court’s orders, and removed illegal structures from around the Empress Market and the Parking Plaza. In spite of the drive in Saddar, dry fruit sellers, coconut vendors and fruit vendors were seen just after the operation on Monday.

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