PESHAWAR - The anti-encroachments drive of the PTI government seems a futile exercise as soon after bulldozing the road side projections and walls, the vendors have started re-occupying the places evacuated by town administrators in various parts of the city due to delaying the construction work.

During a visit to the interior city on Sunday, this scribe witnessed heavy encroachments in Hashnagri and Faqeer Abad areas, while these areas have been cleared by the government upon the directives of Deputy Commissioner. Several parts of the city like Ganta Ghar and Chowk Yadgar were cleared in the anti-encroachment drive, however, these areas were re-occupied by the shopkeepers.

The government has pledged to construct and renovate foot-paths after evacuating it from the encroachments, however, despite passing of two months no work has started on footpaths while the debris remained on roadside further creating dust and pollution in the city.  When contacted administrator of Peshawar Zafar Ali Khan, he said that they are keen observer and those who are re-occupying the places will be kicked out back from the city. However, he said that now they are working to remove roadside pole of electricity and telephone.

He added that PC-1 for roadside foot-paths and other constructions has been approved while tenders have been given in media but the starting of reconstructing work will take some time due to official hindrances.  He also assured that those shops bulldozed by the administration will not be restored, however, on temporary basis vendors are busy in their business but their encroachments will be removed soon in another round of operation.  The shopkeepers said they removed their encroachments upon the directives of the government but work on removing of debris from roadside and constructing of roadside foot paths was not started to see any beautification and change in the city.  They said that in the past such like operations were launched by government but the decision was not fully implemented. The areas likes Ashraf road, Ganta Ghar, Qissa Khwani and Khyber Bazaar are still under the control of the vendors.  It is pertinent to mention here that people from the far flung areas of the province are frequently visiting the metropolitan city to judge the developmental projects and so-called change slogans of the government, however, when they reach the city, they look disappointed over the alleged poor performance of the government.