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October 24, 2019

KMC to start crackdown on tea shops operating on footpaths at night


October 24, 2019

The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation’s (KMC) anti-encroachment department is set to carry out a massive crackdown against food and tea kiosks that run on footpaths in the city during night hours.

According to the corporation’s anti-encroachment director, Bashir Siddiqui, seven-day notices have been served to eateries and tea kiosks operating on footpaths and roads during night in District Central and District South, in which they have been told to stop using the public spaces for their businesses.

He told The News that a mild operation against such eateries and kiosks was also under way. During the next 15 days, he said, the KMC had to submit a report to the Supreme Court on the anti-encroachment operations in the city.

In June, the KMC had started an operation to remove cabins of various welfare organisations, including the Edhi Foundation, Chippa, Saylani, Alamgir Welfare Trust and Jafaria Disaster Management Cell, from the footpaths.

The corporation also removed a few traffic police sub-stations from footpaths and roads. However, it could not carry out any operation against restaurants that did not come in its land jurisdiction.

On Wednesday, the KMC carried out its anti-encroachment drive for the second consecutive day in District South and District Central. According to Siddiqui, in Urdu Bazaar in District South, they carried out their routine exercise of removing cabins, carts, tea kiosks and other encroachments.

In District Central, he said, the operation was carried out at night in the Gulberg division where tea shops operating on roads were demolished and their chairs and tables were confiscated. ­

“We are issuing seven-day notices to night hotels and those who aren’t complying with the orders, we have to demolish their structure,” he said. As for the law and order situation, he said the KMC always had the support of law enforcement agencies. On Wednesday, he shared, one of the encroachers was arrested and seven were held a day earlier for impeding their work.

He added that similar operations would also be initiated in District Korangi and District East. Commenting on a video that went viral on social media in which a KMC’s bulldozer was seen destroying a rickshaw, he said the rickshaw was parked under a flyover of the Green Line Bus Rapid Transit. He added that it was a faulty rickshaw which had been parked there for the past seven months.

“Our team had asked the owners to remove it several times,” he said, adding that there are more than 300 broken-down vehicles in their stores in Central, South, East and Korangi districts. Roads and pavement of flyovers were not the places where one could park vehicles, he maintained.

On Tuesday, the KMC anti- encroachment department had carried out a drive in South, East and Central districts. According to a press statement from the corporation, it removed many cabins, carts, food stalls, furniture, animal cages and other stuff from footpaths.

The department also demolished concrete walls, grills, sun sheds and other constructions on pavements and alongside roads. The action was taken under the supervision of Siddiqui. The anti-encroachment deputy director and police also took part in the operation.

In District South, action was taken in Urdu Bazaar, the motorcycle market and Burnes Road. In District Central, encroachments were removed in Gulberg Town, UK Square and FB Area’s Block 16. In District East, VIP Colony and Patel Para were cleared of all sorts of encroachments.

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