RAWALPINDI – The encroachments in several Rawalpindi cantonment areas including Saddar bazaar, Tench Bhatta and Chungi No 22 are on the rise especially during Ramazan-ul-Mubarik while the authorities concerned have failed to control the trend, which are further narrowing the roads.

Encroachments in different areas of RCB including Saddar Bazaar, Tench Bhatta, Chungi No 22, Mughalaabad, and other areas have become one of the big problems not only for motorist, but also for the residents of these areas particularly nowadays, while the concerned authorities are taking no action.

Residents told APP that encroachments are the main reason behind traffic jams, as the encroachers have occupied almost half of the road.

Not only the motorists, but the pedestrians are also facing lots of problems because of the encroachments.

“The concerned authorities should play effective role to remove these encroachers from the roads for smooth flow of traffic,” they urged.

Aslam, a shopper visiting Saddar bazaar said that one could see the traffic mess on Bank road and in other areas of Saddar saying, this is only because of the wrong car parking and encroachments. In several markets of Saddar and Tench Bhatta, the encroachers have occupied both sides of the road and left no space for pedestrians, which caused worst traffic jams.

This is the responsibility of the Rawalpindi Cantonment Board to take action against such encroachers, he added.

Meanwhile, encroachment has become a common sight in important trade centres of the federal capital due to business-stalls established prior to Eid festival and Pakistan’s independence day.

According to details, encroachment is already an issue in Markaz G-9, Aabpara, Peshawar More, Melody Market, Markaz G-10 and Markaz I-10, but it has grown manifolds after the beginning of Ramadan.

The footpaths in these markets are crowded with stalls of different snacks, dates, fruits and other edibles.

Customers who visit these markets have got no walking-space. It is difficult for them even to buy the consumers items in such a mess.

The need of the hour is to take action against the encroachers and bring an end to the illegal activity.

Meanwhile, in a bid to facilitate residents of the federal capital for Eid shopping, the Capital Development Authority has relaxed its anti-encroachment drive temporarily allowing the vendors, stallholders and shopkeepers to display their Ramadan and Eid-specific items outdoor to attract customers.

“We have been receiving requests from the shopkeepers to allow display of their item on the outdoor stalls. Consequently, we have taken a policy decision to allow them the same temporarily during holy month of Ramadan,” Chairman CDA Farkhand Iqbal told APP Sunday.

He said as Eid is approaching, the crowd has increased manifold and customers have to wait for long to choice their shopping while they can easily be dealt with by placing items of high demand outside shops in open.

He said the crowd on sweets shops is also increasing particularly those selling somsas, pakoras, phenian and other related items consumed during iftar.

Likewise, the cosmetics and general stores store selling bangles, dresses and hosiery items are also crowded.

However, the CDA chief categorically clarified that no shopkeeper would be allowed to encroach on footpath except those selling Ramazan and Eid-specific items.

He said soon after Eid, the Authority would initiate a comprehensive drive to purge the city’s markets and residential areas of encroachments those have been blotting the face of beautiful Islamabad.

The Islamabad High Court has already directed the civic body to remove all encroachments from the city’s roads and markets and clear the roads and footpath occupied by various organizations and offices by placing concrete barricades.

The chairman said the CDA has already devised a two-pronged strategy for salvation from encroachments. In the first phase, the CDA would remove all impediments from the footpath and roadsides while in the second stage, encroachments by the shopkeepers would be removed from markets.

He said simultaneously, a cleanliness drive has already been initiated by the CDA to keep city’s roads and markets clean as it would not only make the shoppers feel comfortable but also enrich the business activity in capital’s markets.

Farkhand Iqbal said the CDA would provide maximum number of manpower and infrastructure to strengthen its Enforcement Directorate so that the city may be turned clean of encroachments making the movement of pedestrians as well as motorists smooth and easy.