Rawalpindi: No end to encroachments in sight
RAWALPINDI: The Rawal Town administration is taking no action against ever-increasing encroachments in Rawalpindi City that are causing great difficulties for motorists and pedestrians as well.
The encroachers have occupied roads, footpaths including all walk sides, particularly in Raja Bazaar, Fawara Chowk, Namak Mandi, Dalgran Bazaar, Muslim Town/Sadiqabad, Liaquat Road, China Market, Bagh Sardaran, Bara Bazaar, Trunk Bazaar, Jamia Masjid Road, Waris Khan, Commercial Market, Gangmandi, Pindora, Dhok Mangtal, City Saddar Road, Pirwadhai, Dhoke Ratta, Khayaban-e-Sir Syed, Asghar Mall and some other areas.
Traffic remains blocked all the time while several accidents have occurred in these areas because of ever-increasing encroachments. Despite tall claims of the Tehsil Municipal Administration (TMA) of removing around 70 per cent of encroachments from pavements and roads, the encroachers are very much there marring the beauty of the city.
Sources alleged that TMA inspectors take bribe from stallholders as well as shopkeepers.
While talking to ‘The News’, TMA Superintendent Encroachment Pervez Mughal, admitted that some “inspectors are taking bribe from encroachers”.
The sources in the TMA alleged that an inspector takes Rs1,000 from a vendor and Rs1,700 from a shopkeeper on monthly basis. Shopkeepers allow vendors to set up their stalls in front of their shops and take monthly rent from them. Three to four vendors have set up their businesses in front of each of the shop. The concerned authority helps vendors in setting up stalls outside shops, the sources added.
When attempts were made to contact Rawal Town Administrator Talat Mehmood Gondal, he did not attend his telephone. However, Tehsil Municipal Officer (TMO) Rawal Town Shahzad Haider said, “I am strictly monitoring encroachment mafia in the city. We have started crackdown against encroachments to clean the city in a couple of days. I would take strict action against corrupt staff as well,” he assured.
Uzma Irfan, a housewife, said that she avoids visiting markets because of ever-increasing encroachments on roads even on footpaths. She said that there is no proper system to tackle the problem. She criticised the concerned authority for making tall claims regarding removal of encroachments from the city.