Mardan - The encroachers have occupied majority of bazaars, roads and chowks of the city allegedly in connivance with concerned officials causing traffic mess and inconvenience to pedestrians.  

According to a survey conducted by The Nation, the encroachment mafia has virtually occupied Bank Road, Shaheedano Bazaar, Gudge Bazaar, Shamshi Road, Bus Adda Road, Charsadda Chowk, Chalmari Road, Dwasaro Chowk, Par Hoti Chowk and Gaju Khan Road.  The encroachers have established illegal setups alongside roads and by placing their showcases on footpath bearing items for sale which is troublesome for the costumers visiting the market. 

At Chalmari Road where majority of tractor workshop are located, the tractor mechanics park tractors which creates problems for the residence.  Majority of banks and private hospital owners have also placed heavy generators on footpath adding to the miseries of the people.  

Moreover, footpaths are given on rent either by owners or shopkeepers. The encroachments are on the rise because the encroachers have their backs covered by influential persons and authorities concerned, the sources added. Several shops have been built in the city without getting the formal approval of maps. The encroachers have also installed fruit and vegetable stalls on both sides of the road on Adda Road, Pakistan Chowk and Charsadda Chowk causing inconveniences to pedestrians.  

On Shamshi Road in the surrounding of District Headquarter (DHQ) Hospital, where majority of private clinics are located, people park their vehicles on road in the evening due to lack of parking facility which creates severe traffic jam.  

Moreover, illegal tea stall owners are selling unhygienic products including juices, mineral water, tea and bread and looting out-door patients and visitors by selling commodities at high prices as compared to market rates near DHQ and MMC. Neither the stallholders display rate lists in sheer violation of rules.  

A female costumer at Gajju Khan Road said that several women daily visit Gajju Khan market for shopping. She said several illegal stalls of toys, clothes, shoes, utensils, artificial jewellery and carpets have been established on the road and in the street due to which female visitors face a lot of problems.  

A number of hotels are also located at Bank Road and Judge Bazaar and customers park their vehicles in front of hotels on road which also create problems for the people. It is noted that majority of shopkeepers at roads, chowks and bazaars have encroached upon footpaths causing hardships for both the pedestrians and motorists.