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November 8, 2018

Dawoodi Bohra community announces support for anti-encroachment drive


November 8, 2018

As the anti-encroachment operation in the Saddar area entered the third day on Wednesday, the Dawoodi Bohra community in the city expressed its fullest support for the drive, stating that such an action would help accelerate business activities in the area.

The Dawoodi Bohra community announced its support for the operation when a seven-member delegation of the community, led by its Karachi chapter president Juzar Bahi, met Sindh Governor Imran Ismail at Governor House.

The governor informed the delegation that relevant civic agencies had launched the anti-encroachment drive in the Saddar area of the city in order to ensure unhindered flow of vehicular traffic and facilitate pedestrians in the area, which is considered as the main commercial centre of Karachi.

The governor maintained that as a result of the ongoing anti-encroachment drive, people would no more face undue congestion in the alleys of the main commercial hub of the city. Ismail also lauded the role played by the Dawoodi Bohra community in the promotion of trade and business activities in the city. The Bohri community continued with their business and trading activities in the city even during the time when law and order situation in Karachi had deteriorated, the governor said.

The governor also appreciated the Dawoodi Bohra community for providing valuable services in the fields of health, education, and provision of basic civic services to the deprived sections of the society.

The delegation briefed the governor on social services being rendered by the Bohri community for the socio-economic uplift of the underprivileged and deprived people. Our correspondent adds: All the sign boards illegally placed on footpaths on Zaibunnisa Street and the road intersecting it near the Singer shop were removed on the third day of the operation against encroachments in the Saddar area.

The operation is being carried out by the anti-encroachment staff of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) with the help of law enforcement agencies (LEAs), including police and Rangers. Besides removing sign boards, the anti-encroachment team also demolished extended portions of shops that encroached upon footpaths.

The operation against encroachments in the Saddar area started on Monday after the Supreme Court gave orders in this regard. The operation on Wednesday started on Zaibunnisa Street and was later extended to Mobile Market and Regal. By the night, the anti-encroachment team had cleared footpaths surrounding Mobile Market.

Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar also visited the site of operation. According to the mayor, the drive was not over yet and would continue. The pedestrians will now feel comfortable on footpaths and traffic in Saddar will never be a mess as it was earlier, the mayor said, adding that people were scared to visit Saddar before because of persistent traffic congestion in the area. The KMC will ensure that encroachments do not emerge again in the area, Akhtar maintained.

The mayor said the operation was being carried out on the orders of the Supreme Court. He added that he was determined to bring Saddar and Empress Market to their original position. Akhtar lamented that all over the world heritage buildings were preserved while in Pakistan old buildings were demolished.

He was however satisfied that after the clearance of footpaths, the old buildings in the area had become conspicuous. The mayor pointed out an old dispensary built in 1938 in the area that was earlier not visible due to encroachments on footpaths.

According to the mayor, more than 400 personnel and around 60 trucks and loaders had been employed for the operation. Akhar also mentioned that the Sui Southern Gas Company, K-Electric and Sindh Solid Waste Management Board also participated in the operation.

All the sign boards on Zaibunnisa Street that extended ten feet or more out from the shops were demolished along with all small and large cabins on the street. A spokesperson for the KMC said a major operation had been planned at a market near Saddar where illegal shops selling clothes, skating shoes, socks and similar items had been constructed with concrete. This is an illegal market which has usurped the state land, the spokesperson claimed.

Owners of some shops at the market were also found demolishing the upper storeys of their shops that had been built illegally. The shopkeepers were destroying parts of their shops themselves as they feared more harm will be caused to them if the KMC team came to demolish their shops.

The anti-encroachment team also faced some resistance while conducting operation on Shahrah-e-Iraq near Saddar Dawakhana and the road connecting Saddar to Passport Office. Some people pelted stones at the team near Saddar Dawakhana, however, the situation was controlled by the LEAs.

Meanwhile, the anti-encroachment drive also caused severe traffic jam on MA Jinnah Road as buses were not allowed to enter the Saddar area.

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