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December 4, 2018

3,500 shopkeepers affected by anti-encroachment drive to be relocated

Karachi

December 4, 2018

Around 3,500 traders, who lost their businesses in the ongoing anti-encroachment drive in the city, will be accommodated in makeshift markets that will be established on land of the Sindh government and Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) available in the city.

The decision to compensate the affected traders was made on Monday during a high-level meeting chaired by Sindh Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani at the Commissioner’s Office. Adviser to the Chief Minister on Information Barrister Murtaza Wahab and Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar attended the meeting among others.

The meeting decided that the relocation of around 3,500 traders would be accomplished on an immediate basis in the first phase of the compensation for the affected traders. The traders to be relocated in the first phase are those who were bona fide tenants of the KMC and were deprived of their shops during the anti-encroachment drive currently under way.

The meeting was informed that a committee would scrutinise the list of 3,575 shopkeepers who were tenants of the KMC and had been deprived of their shops during anti-encroachment operations. The committee will be headed by Special Assistant to the Chief Minister Waqar Mehdi while its other members will include the Karachi metropolitan commissioner and South deputy commissioner. The committee will examine the authenticity of the members in the list in three days.

It was decided at the meeting that in order to compensate the shopkeepers on an immediate basis, they would not be provided permanent building structures of a market forthwith; instead, makeshift arrangements would be made in order to enable the affected traders to resume their business activities without further delay.

It was also resolved at the meeting that in the later stages, arrangements would be made to accommodate those traders who were not the bona fide tenants of the KMC but nevertheless had been doing their businesses for the last several years.

People and traders affected by the anti-encroachment drive will not be deserted by the government, Ghani announced. “We will not demolish house of anyone. In case such orders came from the judiciary, the Sindh Government would itself move the courts. We are under obligations to implement the orders of the Supreme Court but at the same time it is our foremost responsibility to rehabilitate people affected by the operation,” the local government minister asserted.

Ghani also announced that people who would be displaced due to the Karachi Circular Railway project would be relocated within Karachi in a manner similar to how the people affected by the Lyari Expressway project were resettled.

Jodia Bazaar, Juna Market cleared of encroachments

The anti-encroachment drive being carried out by the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) in the city entered its 29th day on Monday with encroachments removed from the narrow lanes of Jodia Bazaar and Juna Market in the old city area.

The drive was started by the KMC on an order of the Supreme Court (SC). Initially anti-encroachment operations were conducted only in the old city area; however, the drive was later expanded to the rest of the city.

Supervising the operation on Monday, KMC Metropolitan Commissioner Dr Saif Ur Rehman said it was difficult to carry out such an operation in Jodia Bazaar and Juna Market as heavy machinery could not easily enter the narrow lanes of the markets; however, the KMC managed to clear those areas of encroachments.

Several extended sheds, steel structures and cement blocks were removed and all footpaths in the markets were cleared, Dr Rehman said.

Shopkeepers at Tarazu Gali, Phool Park, Phool Chowk and Sarafa Bazaar were issued a prior warning about the operation. It was reported that they extended cooperation to the authorities and removed encroachments themselves due to which no shops were damaged during the operation. The anti-encroachment teams were assisted by law enforcement agencies and they did not face any resistance during the operation.

KMC Senior Director Anti-Encroachments Bashir Siddiqi told media persons on the occasion that anti-encroachment operations were also carried out in Shah Faisal Colony and District Central on Monday. An illegal marriage hall, Baradari Park, was demolished in North Nazimabad Block A.

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