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January 10, 2020

2,100 traders affected in anti-encroachment drive given alternative places: mayor


January 10, 2020

As many as 2,100 traders out of a total of 2,600 who were affected in the ongoing anti-encroachment drive in the city have been provided with alternative arrangements for business, while the remaining 500 traders would get shops in the next two months, said Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar as he addressed a ceremony held in the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation’s (KMC) head office on Thursday.

The mayor said the KMC “alone did all this with its resources” as no one helped them in relocation of these traders. He said it was his responsibility to focus on the problems of people in the city.

The Supreme Court’s directives for removal of encroachments were aimed at restoring the original shape of the city and “that is why he we appreciated it”, he said.

“In the past we did wrong by allowing people to do commercial activities on parks, drains and pavements of the city,” he said. “The situation reached the stage where this city lost its beauty and people faced a lot of difficulties in their daily life.”

It was unfortunate that, he said, the federal and provincial governments failed to secure their lands and no one took ownership of the city. “The Sindh government though initially made some commitments for supporting the relocation of the affected ones but nothing was done practically,” he said and added that the city was their home and they all had had a responsibility to protect it from encroachments and maintain its beauty.

He said everything was being done in accordance with the rules and regulations. “The delay in allotment of shops was due to the fact that we wanted to provide permanent place for business to these traders.”

Speaking on the occasion, Metropolitan Commissioner Dr Syed Saif-ur-Rehman said it was even more important to relocate the traders than to remove illegal constructions in the drive. He said they had had concerns from the first day regarding the relocation of these traders. “It was a difficult decision to utilise the costly municipal land for this purpose,” he reasoned.

He hoped traders would have a good business at the new place. A parliamentary leader in the city council, Aslam Shah Afridi, said the MQM-Pakistan played its role in the process of relocation.

Karachi Tajir Ittehad chairman Ateeq Mir said it was a pleasure to see such events that rehabilitate people’s livelihood. The event was about the balloting of alternative shops and offices for 405 affected traders of the city’s zoological garden market.

Later, the mayor along with the metropolitan commissioner and traders performed the balloting and announced the names of traders who got the shops and offices at an alternate place.

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