close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
February 14, 2021

The market where pedestrians are the king, not the car owners

Islamabad

February 14, 2021

Raja Bazaar and surrounding markets have turned into the most congested markets of the city owing to massive encroachments on both sides of its roads. The Tehsil Municipal Administration (TMA) several drives in the market areas have not yielded any results.

“Shopkeepers occupy the entire walking space by placing their electrical and gas appliances like geysers, heaters, cooking stoves, washing machines, etc. Even vendors have left no space for the passersby. The shopkeepers are responsible for the problem because first of all, they put their material on the road and then allow other roadside vendors to sell their products in front of their shops for earning extra money,” says Mohib Hussain, an official from the TMA.

“Shopkeepers have encroached space outside their shops at the stretch from the main Liaquat Road up to the Baara Market and Sabzi Mandi. Some have either displayed goods outside their shops, while others have given the space on rent to private vendors,” says Akmal Hussain, another TMA staff member.

“This open space rented to vendors is a part of our shop and we are paying thousands of rupees as bribe every month,” says Yasser Ali, a shopkeeper, accusing MC officials of accepting bribes.

“Hours of shopping madness takes place each day and draws over hundreds of visitors to Raja Bazaar and its surrounding bazaars like Baara Market, Sabzi Mandi. These are undoubtedly the biggest markets outside the main market shops,” says Ali Raza.

“A trip around this bazaar during the weekend of the sale will allow you to see for yourself that how the marketplace is entirely transformed into a huge pedestrian area, where the pedestrian is the king and not the car owner,” adds Ali.

“Raja Bazaar starts at 8 am and goes on until 11 pm. It is a place where it is possible to buy and sell everything and anything, antiques, clothing, artificial jewelry, decorative objects, steel and plastic wares, toys, furniture, ornaments, crockery, etc.,” says Saqib Raza.

“In Kashmiri Bazaar, shopkeepers fry fish and keep gas cylinders openly on the pavements photocopy machines, due to which it is next to impossible to walk,” says social activist Azhar Abbas.

“Notably, the entire stretch from Fawara Chowk to the Habib Bank Chowk has been illegally occupied by the vendors due to a lack of an initiative from the civic authorities concerned. The bottleneck for the commuters means that regular traffic jams and parking woes have become a common feature,” adds Azhar.

MC officials claim that they have tried to remove the encroachments on vast pavement space and road occupied by stallholders several times, but things are back to square one. “We do keep a check on encroachments, but shopkeepers just don’t budge,” they say.