HAFIZABAD

The encroachments in the city, especially at busy chowks, continue to thrive as shopkeepers and vendors have occupied footpaths and open spaces without any fear of the authorities.

All chowks and bazaars across the city bear the brunt of the encroachers.

According to survey conducted by this scribe, all roads, particularly Old Katchery Road, Vanike Road, Alipur Road, Gujranwala Road, Fawara Chowk, General Bus Stand, Post Office Road, Qatal Garha Chowk, Raja Chowk and narrow main Bazaar are encroached by the shopkeepers, vendors and hand cart owners with the connivance of the TMA staff.

Pedestrians face more hardships by these encroachments as footpaths have been turned into displays by the shopkeepers or occupied by the vendors, forcing them to walk on shrunk road.

Although most of the city roads were widened during the past five years but citizens and motorists could not be benefited from them as more encroachers were facilitated by the elected representatives to occupy the places wherever they liked.

There is always a traffic jam at Fawara Chowk, Vanike Chowk, Railway Level Crossing, Near General Bus Stand and Post Office Road as encroachers have narrowed the roads.

Over the years, Traffic Police and TMA launched several half-hearted anti-encroachment campaigns but to no purpose. Citizens have called upon the district as well as TMA authorities to launch merciless anti-encroachment drive otherwise the day is not far away when the vendors would even install their stalls in the middle of different Chowks.