KARACHI - The Supreme Court on Saturday directed to clean the city from encroachment within fifteen days.

The law enforcers have assured their full cooperation in the anti-encroachment drive in Karachi. Mayor Waseem Akhtar, Additional Inspector General (AIG) Amir Sheikh and others appeared before a larger bench of SC headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and requested to grant two-week time to launch an anti-encroachment operation in the metropolitan. 

The civic agencies have informed the top court about the strategy regarding the operation. Mayor Waseem has briefed the bench on the anti-encroachment drive and stated that the operation against the encroachment has already been initiated, he claimed that the authorities had cleared up to 70 percent of the Empress Market area located in Saddar district south area.

The mayor argue did not satisfy the court, as the chief justice, remarked that the authorities must clear surrounding areas as well, as major parts of the city was still occupied by the illegal constructions.

Pointing out the activities toward the welfare organisations those serve foods to the poor people at the footpath of the roads, the mayor said that several NGOs were working while arranging foods to the homeless people. “Should we clear them too?” he asked.

The CJP told the mayor to provide welfare organisations alternative locations where they could feed the poor. At this, Waseem replied that he does not have the magisterial powers to do so.

Advocate Masroor, a senior lawyer, also directed the court’s attention to encroachments in the North Nazimabad area of Karachi, which, he said, had been “sold off” by Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leaders Babar Ghauri and Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui. The court granted 15 more days to city authorities to clear encroachments all over Karachi.

The court also issued directives to the Karachi police chief that since a court order to clear encroachments was already present, the authorities did not need anyone’s permission to launch a citywide operation.

During the hearing, the rangers’ representative was also present at the court who had also assured full cooperation with the city government in this regard, and the AIG also gave assurance to the court that he was ready to assist in anti encroachment operation whenever they required.

KMC continues anti-encroachments works in city

The staff of anti-encroachments department of KMC continued its action against all sorts of encroachments on the directives of Mayor Wasim Akhtar during which it used heavy machinery to remove the encroachments from pavements and clear the way for pedestrian.

The action against encroachments was taken in the North Karachi, University Road, Shah Faisal Colony and PIB Colony under the supervision of senior director Bashir Siddiqui who was helped by his subordinates in different areas.

Police was also present during the anti-encroachments work. The footpaths near the Baradari Stop of North Karachi was cleared during this action where hotels, cabins, stalls and other stuff was removed with the help of heavy machinery.

Similar action was taken by the anti-encroachments staff in various areas of district East including University Road and PIB Colony near Faizan-e-Madina and Askari Park where pushcarts and other encroachments were removed.

In district Korangi, anti-encroachments action was taken in Shah Faisal Colony and all encroachments were removed during this drive. In Saddar area the anti-encroachments staff while continuing its work for removal of encroachments warned all shopkeepers to remove all their stuff from pavements and clear the way for pedestrians or all such things will be seized in the encroachments action.

Meanwhile, the mayor has directed the anti-encroachments department to take immediate action against all sorts of encroachments in the city so that citizens could be facilitated.

He also said to trader’s community to help KMC in its works for the betterment of the city by refraining from putting their stuff in front of their shops. This being done on the orders of the Supreme Court and this will continue till the end of all encroachments.