Residents still awaiting action against encroachments

RAWALPINDI (APP): The inaction by the concerned departments of the city government against the illegal encroachments is contrary to the tall claims of the Punjab Government about ensuring smooth traffic flow as the setting up of illicit stalls and hand-carts seems everywhere.
Under the Punjab Local Government rules, no encroachment could be established on the state land, and the Municipal Corporation Rawalpindi is responsible for removing all encroachments from the city areas.
According to a survey, the encroachers had left no place in the city bazaars where customers could visit markets. “Illegal car parking is regular, even in the presence of traffic cops, creating massive traffic jams and causing accidents while proscribed motorcycles parking around all city shopping centres including the Moti Bazar, Raja Bazar, Circular road China market, bara Bazar, Saddar, Tench Bhatta and other areas of the city and cantonment had made the situation so bad that even a pedestrian or women with children could not move.
A cart vendor, Jumma Khan of the Raja Bazaar area, told APP that ‘Monthly’ was given regularly to set up illegal encroachments to shut the concerned officials’ mouths, close their eyes and for turning a deaf ear to the issue. He added that no one could dare to establish illegal stalls without the authority’s backing.
When contacted, no official of Municipal Administration was available to comment on the issue; however, an official, on condition of not being named, admitted that ‘Monthly’was taken and was provided to higher officials for not taking action against encroachments.
Meanwhile, President Traders Welfare Association, Punjab, Sharjeel Mir, said that if the increasing encroachments problem does not resolve, traders will be left with no option but to quit businesses.
Mir urged the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner to look into the long-standing issue and rectify it before it worsens.
President Moti Bazar Chaudhry Muhammad Iqbal asked the metropolitan corporation and traffic police to play their due role in removing the encroachment from the city’s busiest roads and demanded the government devise a plan to shift wholesale markets from the city to the proposed ring road to ease traffic congestion.
He said the vegetable vendors had occupied half the road by placing vegetables in front of their shops in the Bansa Bazar and Raja Bazar areas, hindering traffic flow. “It is the need of the hour to construct parking plazas in city markets at the earliest, and strict action must be taken against the encroachers,” he demanded.
When contacted, the deputy commissioner officer spokesman told APP that a meeting regarding the issue of encroachments was held with trade bodies of the city with Additional Deputy Commissioner(ADC) Nosheen Israr last week.
He informed that the ADC acknowledged the integrity of the issue and assured the traders that one bazaar would be made free of encroachments as a pilot project.
He asked the trade bodies of the city to remove encroachments in front of business centres.