LAHORE – Shopkeepers protested today after the Shalimar Town administration launched an operation against encroachments, demolishing three shops on G.T. Road in Baghbanpura area.

The operation began on the directive of District Coordination Officer at 10 am and was completed in one hour.

The shopkeepers, who had been given just a few hours notice, accused the town administration of launching the clearing operation without giving them sufficient time to move their goods.

Muhammad Shafiq, owner of a tobacco shop, said he had lost a business he had run for 20 years. “The town administration never marked my shop as illegal and had also issued a license to me for this business,” he said

“It was shocking for me when the anti-encroachment squad came and told me that my shop was illegal and then started demolishing it”, a visibly disturbed Shafiq added.     

Besides demolishing shops the staffers of anti-encroachment squad also targeted the dozens of makeshift shops and removed carts of vendors doing business without permits on the strip of G.T. Road. Chairs, tables and other items alongside the shops were confiscated.

Spokesman of City District Government Lahore told The Nation such actions were part of the ongoing operation against encroachments in the city. “The CDGL had already served evacuation notices to the shopkeepers after putting up marks for demolition of the illegal shops.

“The CDGL also issued warnings to the owners of makeshift shops and vendors. However, despite warnings the vendors continued to do their business. Therefore finally it was decided to launch the operation against them,” the spokesman said.