KARACHI: The anti-encroachment drive have been expanded Arambagh, lighthouse area of Karachi after clearing out illegal constructions from the historic Empress Market, on Monday.
According to reports, the Karachi Municipal Corporation (KMC) personnel warned the shopkeepers via loudspeakers the previous day that all the illegal construction on the lighthouse nullah will be demolished and now on Monday the owners of shops located around Arambagh and Lighthouse started moving out their goods.
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”.
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.