TARBELA GHAZI - National Highway Authority (NHA) and Haripur district administration on Thursday launched an anti-encroachment operation against illegal constructions and encroachments and removed over 24 kiosks along the Karakoram Highway near Sari Saleh.

During the drive, the authorities demolished many illegal constructions and removed encroachments from the government land near Sarai Saleh, Haripur, terming them illegal and hindrance in flow of heavy traffic on that very important road.

The owners of kiosks (stalls) protested against the operation and demanded of the concerned authorities for provision of alternative place for their livelihoods.

The Karakorum Highway, being the only road linked to the northern areas of the country, is a very busy road for all kind of the traffic. The Main Trunk Road after passing through Hassanabdal, Abbottabad, Mansehra, Naran, Kaghan, Kohistan and other villages and towns links with a Chinese province.

The sources said occurrence of traffic accidents on this major road leading to China has become a routine matter due to traffic load was well as missing overhead bridges.

The National Highway Authority officials have the view that owing to illegal constructions and encroachments along the highway were creating hindrances in smooth flow of traffic heavy traffic.

To the reason, NHA launched a campaign to ensure smooth flow of traffic and to reduce the number of road accidents.

Earlier, National Highway Authority (NHA) and Tehsil Muncipal Authority Haripur had served various notices to the encroachers for removal of their illegal constructions and encroachments voluntarily, but they paid no heed toward these notices. Additional Assistant Commissioner Haripur Qaisar Khan and Tehsil Muncipal Authority Haripur and National Highway Authority officials took part in the anti-encroachment operation and demolished over 24 kiosks, established between Sarai Saleh and Paki Dohli. Debris of the kiosks were also confiscated and handed over to the NHA staff.

However, owners of the demolished kiosks have the view that their Kiosks constructions weren’t illegal, adding that structure of their kiosks were 10 to 20 feet away from the shoulders of the road on each side. They further said that their constructions on private property, not the government own land.

The protestors said that NHA and the district administration Haripur had deprived them of their livelihoods without allotment of an alternate place to them for establishing their kiosks, adding that they have no idea that how they will feed their children.