Rawalpindi-The National Highway Authority (NHA) has issued notices to encroachers to remove all the encroachments along the GT Road in Rawat, informed official sources here on Friday. Sources claimed that NHA has given the encroachers a two-day deadline to remove encroachments voluntarily or else the buildings, shops, plazas and other encroachments will be bulldozed.

It may be noted that scores of people including traders, landlords and other influential individuals and groups have grabbed the state-owned land along the GT Road at Rawat by developing shanty towns, shops, kiosks, plazas, buildings and other businesses. Most of them belong to land mafia and cronies of influential politicians but many have also encroached simply out of livelihood needs though they too have the backing of powerful groups.

According to sources, the Maintenance Unit Rawalpindi (Revenue Section) of NHA has issued notices to shopkeepers and businessmen who had encroached alongside the GT Road in Rawat and on Adiala Road. The NHA has directed the encroachers to remove all the encroachments within two days or else the enforcement department of NHA would bulldoze all the encroachments in an anti encroachment operation. The NHA also warned the encroachers of filing cases and imposition of hefty fines against them in case of non-compliance of the notices.   

An Assistant Director (Maintenance) NHA Rawalpindi told media that the authority has decided to immediately remove all the encroachments along the GT Road in Rawat. He said initially the encroachers had been directed through notices to remove all the encroachments voluntarily. On the other hand, the enforcement department of Rawalpindi Municipal Corporation (RMC) and the local police has conducted an anti-encroachment operation in Ganjmandi, Raja Bazaar, Iqbal Road and in Fawara Chowk, said an official of district government. He said during the operations, the enforcement department demolished all the illegal sheds, concrete steps/stairs outside shops. Fines were also imposed on the encroachers, he said.

He added that the operation was launched on directions of Deputy Commissioner (DC) Rawalpindi Dr Umer Jahangir and Chief Officer (CO) RMC Shafqat Raza.