RAWALPINDI: The anti encroachment operation launched by the Tehsil Municipal administration to ensure smooth flow of traffic in the congested areas has been suspended for an indefinite period of time after strong protest by vendors.

The operation was launched in the congested old city areas of main Raja Bazar, Ganjmandi, Hamilton road, Dongi Khui, City Saddar, Jinnah road after repeated reminders by the Traffic police to the administration to remove encroachments that are the main reason for long traffic jams did not get any response.

Irked by the failure of the administration, traffic police took upon itself and its personnel started removing the vendors. The highly angered vendors gathered at the site and resisted the operation saying that only TMA has the authority to remove their set ups from which they earn livelihood for their children.

Chief Traffic Offier Khurram Janbaz said the operation was launched to ensure smooth flow of traffic. However due to danger law and order situation it has been suspended and now the police will carry it with the coordination of TMA and district police.

It is worth mentioning that thousands of Rehris with fruits and landa clothes are the main reason of long lines of traffic irritating the commuters.

TMA officials, when approached, told this agency on condition of anonymity that whenever they plan for the anti encroachment drive, the political leadership of the city strongly oppose it.

They said the timing of the anti encroachment drive was not appropriate now as the local government elections are being held very soon and the local leadership of PML-N would strongly oppose it, fearing that it would have negative impact on the election of their nominated candidates.