BHALWAL-The shopkeepers on all thoroughfares of Bhalwal city were warned on Wednesday to remove encroachments in front of their shops within two days.

Bhalwal Assistant Commissioner Adnan Fareed Afridi warned the shopkeepers and had ordered the officials concerned to take stern action against the shopkeepers who failed to remove encroachments within given time period.

There were encroachments at Main Bazaar, Ameen Bazaar, vegetable market and grain market and on Woman College Road which had been causing problems for the pedestrians, especially for senior citizens. Passing through these bazaars and roads had become almost impossible because of the encroachments established by shopkeepers in front of their shops.

Talking to The Nation, Tax Bar Association President Umar Ashraf Bhatti said that warning to the shopkeepers would bear no fruit. He added that every new administrator showed efficiency against encroachments after assuming the office but later, not even a single word was spoken against the encroaches due to political pressure.

Famous income tax practitioner Tasawur Mufti said that two-day ultimatum to clear encroachments from thoroughfares would fail as the encroachments were made with the alleged connivance of the municipal committee employees who allegedly took gratification from all the encroachers in the form of Parchi.

A senior citizen told The Nation that locals were fed up with harping on the same string about cleansing the litter, garbage, filth and action against encroachments but doing nothing practical.

Apart from taking bribes from the encroachers, administrative staff of the municipal committee had been receiving salaries sitting at their homes without any official work. The sanitary workers work at the houses of their bosses instead of serving the people. “Unless actual issues of pathetic and lethargic municipal staff, bribe, etc. are addressed, such drives are destined to be flopped,” United Lawyers Forum secretary Afzal Marar said.