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June 25, 2019

KMC to halt work at Empress Market

Karachi

June 25, 2019

The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) has decided not to make any changes inside the boundary of the Empress Market, at least for the time being.

In a statement issued on Monday, the KMC said any improvement in the Empress Market would be made with the consultation of all the stakeholders after the corporation’s budget for the next fiscal year was approved.

Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar said the historical building of the Empress Market was a major landmark of the city; therefore, making any changes to the market required care. In November 2018, a three-member bench of the Supreme Court, headed by then Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nasir, ordered the authorities to clear the Empress Market and its adjoining areas of encroachments. As an anti-encroachment operation was carried out to comply with the order, various markets in the vicinity of the Empress Market, including Umer Farooqi Market, Shahab Uddin Market and a pet market were demolished.

A delegation of the shopkeepers of the Empress Market led by Sirajuddin Qureishi met the mayor on Monday to discuss the future of the market. The delegation apprised the mayor about their problems. Deputy Mayor Syed Arshad Hasan, Chairman Estate Committee Nasir Taimuri and other officers of the estate department were also present on the occasion.

The mayor said concrete steps were being taken to restore the historical market to its original shape. He said a beautiful park was also being developed around the Empress Market to provide recreation to the visitors in the Saddar area.

Akhtar said the business community had to play an important role in the implementation of the restoration plan for the Saddar area. We all have to work together for the betterment of the city, he said, adding that the rights of the KMC’s tenants would be secured but the original allottees would be given preference when the KMC would award the market’s shops to shopkeepers.

The mayor also maintained that the KMC’s agreements with those shopkeepers who did not pay the rent had stood cancelled.

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