RAWALPINDI  – Encroachments on the rise in Potohar town as the shopkeepers and vendors have occupied most of footpaths and open spaces in the area and hampering road traffic besides creating troubles for pedestrians.

The encroachers have set up their stalls at main almost all roads of Potohar Town including Adiala road, Dhamial road, Chakri road, Morgah, Misrial road, Kotah Kalan, Dhama More and several other areas. In many areas the handcart bazaars have also been established. The encroacher have occupied both sides of roads due to which the citizens are facing problems and the encroachments creating difficulties in the smooth flow of over-loaded traffic in the area.

Chakri road which is nearly 120 feet wide but owing to encroachments is shrinking and about two kilometers areas near bisket factory chowk is now hub of vehicle repairing workshops, vegetable and fruit merchants, restaurants motor showrooms, building material go downs and center of other business activities. Similarly, Adiala road, Dhamial road, Morgah and Kota Kalan are congested areas and need attention of authorities concerned. These localities are administratively under the control of TMA, Potohar Town.

Though, a number of anti-encroachment drives were launched by the authorities concerned but the situation never changed in the town as owing to the encroachments, not only the motorists but also pedestrians face troubles. The traffic remains blocked at main roads as the shopkeepers have encroached both sides of the road further narrowing it. The traffic mess on the road creates problems for the area residents and the motorists besides noise pollution.

Talking to APP, a visitor said that the authorities concerned should launch a comprehensive drive to remove encroachments from the area which should be followed by strict monitoring so that the road could not be encroached again.

Faisal, a resident of Dhamial road said that the encroachers have occupied both sides of the road and left no space for car parking. He said the staffs of the concerned department only visit the area once in the morning to remove the encroachments but as soon as they leave the spot encroachers again set up their stalls there. “The authorities should come up with an effective strategy and concerned officials should pay surprise visits at different times in the day to remove the encroachments,” he said.

Arif, another resident of the area, said that apart from traffic jams we are also suffering from noise pollution. “The higher authorities should take notice of the negligence of the concern department,” he added.          

Goods displayed on the road, outside shops must be confiscated and the encroachers should be fined heavily as warnings and routine action of anti-encroachment personnel have totally failed to remove the encroachments.

The citizens urged the TMA authorities to take strict action against the shopkeepers, vendors and fruit and vegetable handcart owners that are creating hurdles in the smooth flow of traffic.

Encroachments in different localities of the city have become a nuisance not only for motorists, as they create traffic jams, but also for the residents of these areas, but the concerned authorities are paying little attention towards the problem. One can observe traffic jams on the road just because of these encroachments.