Chief Minister, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahamood Khan has expressed displeasure over encroachments and illegal construction activities being carried out on river banks in some of the tourist spots of Malakand Division including Kalam, and Malam Jabba. According to reports, the Chief Minister directed the Divisional and District authorities to take indiscriminate action against all such types of encroachments, illegal constructions and implement a comprehensive plan to prevent such activities in the future.
The encroachment is a social evil, which is not a problem of only District Swat or tourist places in the KPK, but this social menace has equally spread over in all parts of the Country from Khyber to Karachi and Khunjerab to Quetta. It has become a serious social, administrative and security problem in the Country. In fact, encroachment is one of the major factors of floods, particularly urban flooding happens when illegal constructions block the waterways and drainage system in the cities and rural areas. Our society has become habitual of doing encroachment on the parts of land, roads or streets adjacent to their homes, shops or other property belonging to them. This type of encroachment is common everywhere in all parts of Pakistan and no street or Bazar is exempted from it, while more than 80% masses are involved in this type of encroachment. Presently, shopkeepers in the cities had encroached on footpaths and roads, and used to charge money per day from cart sellers in front of their shops, while staff of Municipal Corporations and Cantonment Boards are equally involved in this illegal business. In some cases, influential people and land grabbers used to occupy government land, parks and schools etc. with the help of staff of the Land Revenue Department or CDA. Both types of encroachment cause losses to government treasury and seriously affects the daily life of a common citizen, vehicular traffic and pedestrians as well.
Presently, encroachment has shaped into a grave challenge for the government, while the government departments are equally responsible in making up for this upheaval. The government should adopt a strict policy on the issue which should include removal of the encroachment in the cities and towns, punishment to the culprits along with strict disciplinary action against their sympathizers in government departments. So this menace can be cured once for all.