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August 14, 2020

‘Illegal billboards, structures gradually being removed in District East’

Karachi

August 14, 2020

The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation’s (KMC) anti-encroachment department has started knocking down billboards, hoardings and banners that can put the lives of the people in danger in different parts of the city.

Anti-Encroachment Senior Director Bashir Siddiqui said that on the direction of the Supreme Court and in coordination with Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani, action is being taken against hazardous billboards and hoardings.

Two motorcyclists were severely injured near the Metropole Hotel in District South on August 7, when a billboard attached to a building came loose during a thunderstorm and fell on top of the two men.

After the incident, two officers of the South District Municipal Corporation (DMC) were suspended for illegally issuing permits for billboards. The SC also took a suo motu notice on the incident, and a hearing on the issue was held on Monday.

Shallwani also recently ordered the removal of all billboards, signboards and other advertisement materials across the city. The commissioner’s order addressed the KMC, all the six DMCs, the deputy commissioners of all the six districts and the executive officers of the Malir, Clifton, Karachi, Manora, Faisal and Korangi Creek cantonment boards.

Illegal billboards on private buildings are quite common in the East and South districts. According to the KMC’s anti-encroachment director, the DMCs allowed such hazardous billboards. “They issued challans to the advertisers,” he said, adding that no one cared how dangerous these billboards are for people’s lives.

The KMC has dismantled three advertisement walls in the administrative jurisdiction of the South DMC in Clifton Block-4 and a wall near the Sea View beach.

“There are three to four more advertisement walls in the city that are illegal and will be demolished,” he said, adding that there are a few iron structures protruding from private buildings that are hazardous for people’s lives.

“The DMCs have removed the ads but not the iron structures,” he explained, saying that in the next few days the anti-encroachment department will also knock down all those illegal structures.

Meanwhile, several areas in District East under the administrative jurisdiction of the East DMC and the Cantonment Board Faisal continue to blot out the city’s skyline with huge billboards on buildings.

East DMC Chairman Moeed Anwar said they were gradually removing many illegal structures and have asked the unions of the buildings and advertisers to remove their iron structures themselves.

He said that a few advertisers have agreed to remove them themselves. From Tariq Road and parts of Sharea Faisal they have already removed several structures, he added.