A Praiseworthy Judgment against Encroachments

by M. Wasim

The yesterday judgment from the Supreme Court of Pakistan to remove all encroachments and cabin shops from public parks and amenity plots across the city has given food for thoughts to all illicit business establishments. The SC bench headed by Justice Gulzar Ahmed took serious exception to the practice of renting out spaces in public parks and roads by the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) authorities.

Infocus in its earlier blog dated March 20, this year pointed out at these “unsolved and unresolved demon” of the metropolis and urban analysts believe the roadside encroachments are the main factor, which has made the Karachi’ traffic and environs outright chaotic.
The impacts of these encroachments and their illegitimate space are hazardous. Not only they occupy the roads which cause severe traffic jam and obstacles for pedestrians, but they also badly affect the environment and public health of the area, besides depriving government from a sizable revenue.

Pointing out at the encroachment business in Sadder area, the SC observes “The police station are running on money received from push-cart vendors.” Infocus figured out in previous blog ” These small business establishments is said to be nearly one lac in number only in Sadder Karachi, which include modular stalls, moving carts, footpath shops, roadside vendors and makeshift markets. Instead of paying any utility and tax charges, they just pay Rs. 150 daily at individual capacity for their space, which become Rs. 45 crore in total in a month, distributed in area police, traffic police and KMC authorities.”

Now all hope are on Commissioner, whom the SC has directed to personally supervise the anti-encroachment campaign and submit a compliance report. Whatever be the outcome, that is an outright verdict.


Editorial, Infocus

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