Wah cantt-Various important markets, bazaars and even footpaths have been re-occupied by encroachers in Wah creating hurdles for shoppers, pedestrians and motorists, as concerned authorities of Cantonment board are looking the whole affair as idle spectators due to the reasons best known to them.

During visit to various roads and bazaars of Wah, it seems that the Cantonment Board Administration has virtually rented out the important streets and bazaars especially Lalarukh, Aslam Market, Laiq Ali Chowk, Nawababad, Post Office Road, Goal Market And Qubristan Road to the encroachment mafia. It has observed that despite tall claims of the local administration to clear several city and cantonment areas of encroachments, the encroachers have reoccupied the roads and footpaths displaying their goods outside their shops especially Aslam Market, Nawababad and post office road.

It has been observed that the busiest Nawababad bazaar has become a hub of problems for the inhabitants as the increasing encroachments, deteriorating roads and heaps of garbage have made their life miserable especially during rainy season. Pedestrians face a lot of difficulty walking on the footpaths. Besides, shopkeepers too have encroached on the footpaths.

The inhabitants while narrating their problems underlined that the footpath along with Nawababad road to bearer number 2 was constructed for the convenience of people but now it has become mess for them as it is occupied by encroachers. Hawkers, merchandise sellers and shop owners are utilising the service roads space which should be left free for smooth flow of traffic. It is height of negligence that such illegal activity is being carried out openly and it is well in the knowledge of the cantonment board officials concerned. It has also observed that on Post Office Road, footpaths have been completely encroached by vendors and shopkeepers without any proper checks and balances. The footpaths are so narrow that two people from opposite directions cannot cross each other comfortably. In these parts of the city, many footpaths are serving the only purpose of showcasing of merchandise of the shopkeepers.

Talking to this reporter, a number of locals have alleged that nobody could remove encroachments from the city areas as the concerned enforcement staff of cantonment board is allegedly taking monthly income from encroachment mafia. The people also alleged that few local political figures are fully backing encroachment mafia only to save their support and votes. They added that the vendors setup their stalls on both side of the road and create problems for motorists and pedestrians. A shopper Mrs. Iqbal Khokhar while talking to this reporter said that in most parts of the city, footpaths have been completely encroached by vendors and shopkeepers without any proper check and balance. “The illegal practice of encroachments has turned the city into a jumble of traffic and business activities,” said Mrs. Khwaja, another shopper.