RAHIM YAR KHAN-The Municipal Committee (MC) staff carried out a “discriminatory” campaign against encroachments in Rahim Yar Khan as the MC staff spared the influential encroachers and took action only against the poor law violators.

According to sources, the decision was made in an MC session called without agenda in February that an impartial anti-encroachment campaign will be started in all the areas of the city to clear the roads from handcarts and dismantle all illegal structures outside the houses and shops. The MC land branch officials started operation on the orders of the chairman without any announcement and issuing notices to the encroachers.

Starting the operation on the Faisal Road, Hospital Road, Jail Road and Circular Road, the MC officials removed the illegal structures partially due to which the traders of Faisal Road protested and criticised the land branch officials. That why they did take action in Sadiq Bazaar, Jinnah Bazaar, Jamia Qadria Bazaar and shopping centre.

A trader of Faisal Road Imran said that in these bazaars the MC staff could not take action because their market unions had affiliation with the ruling party. Another trader called this operation biased. On the other hand, the drive in some specific residential areas like Model Town, New Officers Colony, Razi Road and Khanpur Road was in progress but sparing some people. Similarly in Trust Colony and Seattleite Town, the people constructed illegal structures up to 20 feet allocated for greenbelt.

Not only in these areas but on Abu Dhabi Road from Jugnoo Chowk to Cantt Chowk, most of the shops are constructed on the greenbelt. A senior lawyer of Trust Colony Jawad Ahmed said that the Main Road between Trust Colony and Zimindara Colony was 80 feet wide which is now almost 25 feet due to encroachments.

The people had constructed not only walls but ramps on 30 feet of MC land, he said.

Another small shopkeeper of Trust Colony Chowk requesting anonymity said that he greased the palms of land branch staff for his small encroached area but there are shops of relative of an MC councillor and a friend of MNA who have encroached the 20 feet land but the staff didn’t visit them.

Fahad, a resident of Razi Road, told this correspondent that MC staff had raised the ramp of his building. He added that on Razi Road and Old Stadium Road, more than a dozen private hospitals have established illegal ramps but MC staff does not remove the same.