Anti-encroachment drive continues in Karachi

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Anti-encroachment drive continues in Karachi

KARACHI: After clearing out illegal constructions from the historic Empress Market, Karachi Metropolitan Corporation’s (KMC) Anti-Encroachment cell has begun preparations to raze encroachments in the city’s Arambagh and Lighthouse areas.
Owners of shops located around Arambagh and Lighthouse started moving out their goods on Monday, after KMC personnel warned via loudspeakers the previous day that all illegally constructed shops on the Lighthouse nullah will be razed to the ground.
There are nearly 300 shops located on the Lighthouse nullah.
The shopkeepers expected to be affected during the anti-encroachment drive claimed that the Lighthouse market dates back to 1952 and was not built illegally. They further said that they pay the rent to KMC via bank deposit every six months.
The shopkeepers demanded that they be provided alternate locations to set up their shops.
During the past two weeks, around 2,500 shops in and around Empress Market were razed in the operation against land encroachments, which was launched on the directives of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
In keeping with the Supreme Court’s directives, KMC prepared a report on the anti-encroachment operation in Karachi’s Saddar and surrounding areas which was conducted from November 5 to 15. According to the report.
2,500 illegal shops were razed during the anti-encroachment operation. Six RCC basement and a two-storey building were also demolished to “restore Empress Market”.
“480 illegal shops on Sohrab Khattak Road, 150 encroachments on Sarmad Shaheed Road and 450 stalls at Shahrah-e-Iraq were demolished during the drive,” the report added. It further said that 7,500 sun shades at Akbar Road and surrounding areas were also removed.
“Encroachments on Zaibunnisa Street, Magazine Line, Abdullah Haroon Road, Raja Ghazanfar Ali Road and Mir Karam Ali Talpur Road were also removed,” the report read.
Affected shopkeepers have protested the anti-encroachment operation and also faced off with KMC officials, demanding that they be compensated with alternate land to set up their shops.

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