RAWALPINDI (APP): The residents of several Cantt areas have been left to suffer due to illegal commercial activities in residential areas and it looks that the authorities concerned are least interested to take action in accordance with the law against the rules violators.
Illegal commercial activities in several residential areas of Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (RCB) including Gawalmandi, Chor, Tench Bhatta and Chungi No 22 irk the residents as the encroachers have occupied streets and roads, creating problems for the motorists as well as pedestrians particularly for women and children.
The illegal commercial activities are rampant in several residential areas, creating a lot of nuisance. The questions are also being raised as to why a number of roads were declared commercial by ignoring the parking arrangements and traffic-related issues. Most of such unauthorised commercial units, factories and godowns in residential areas lack parking arrangements. Thus, vehicles are generally parked on the roads causing traffic snarls.
Moreover, the majority of such units lack fire safety arrangements, posing threat to the residents. Also, there is no check on noise pollution being created by the industrial units.
According to the residents, most of the streets of Tench Bhatta, Peoples Colony, Dhoke Syedan, Bakra Mandi, Chungi No 22, Chor, Gawalmandi and other areas have been converted into commercial centers as the traders have changed houses into workshops, godowns and offices.
The residents also complained that influential persons with the connivance of the authorities concerned are constructing illegal plazas and shops in such localities further deteriorating the agonizing situation.
The residents, Altaf, Aslam and Dilawar while talking to APP informed that encroachments in several residential areas particularly Tench Bhatta, Chungi No 22, Chor and Gawalmandi were on the rise as the authorities were unable to remove encroachment that were getting out of control. By violating the building bylaws, a number of commercial stores, restaurants and other units have been opened in residential area of Gawalmandi. A resident said, “The roads were declared commercial by ignoring the safety of the residents and traffic-related issues.”
Due to apathy and negligence of the authorities concerned, the residents are suffering and no action is taken on complaints against violations. Encroachments have become a major problem not only for motorists, but also for the area residents, while the concerned are taking no action.
Sohail, a resident of Tench Bhatta said that one could witness the traffic mess in Tench Bhatta road as the shopkeepers had occupied both sides of the road and left no space for movement of pedestrians besides causing the worst traffic jams. “Due to rising commercial activities at the areas, we are forced to suffer.
The visitors to unauthorised commercial units park vehicles outside houses. The department concerned has created a big mess in various residential areas by ignoring such violations,” he added. Waqar, a resident of Gawalmandi informed that the vehicles are parked in front of the workshops along with the road further narrowing the passage and the repair work of faulty vehicles is carried out on the road.
He said that the residents are facing difficulties due to encroachments in various streets of the area. Naveed, another resident said, it is the responsibility of the Cantt authorities to take action against encroachers and those involved in illegal commercial activities in residential areas. He said, “A large number of commercial establishments have come up in residential areas of Tench, Chor and Gawalmandi. Illegal activities should be stopped and building plans must be reviewed.”