LAHORE - Despite revival of Commissioner System and handing over powers to provincial secretaries to manage towns, anti-encroachment in City is still a far cry. The entire government machinery, including Commissioner, provincial secretaries, DCO, chairman Task Force, TMAs, high-ups of the LDA and WASA were engaged in the going on anti-encroachment campaign with great pomp and show over the last two months. However, drive could not achieve desired results. As encroachment drive at all WASA drains has come to a halt. Similarly encroachment drive within plazas, that was made part of anti-encroachment drive some months back, has been excluded from the current drive. Moreover, eviction of cattle, integral part of ant-encroachment drive, could not be implemented despite extending deadline. The anti-encroachment drive was launched with much funfair. The city was divided into three sectors comprising at least three towns. The squads were given all the required material along with technical stuff. But inspite of it no considerable progress has been seen. Sources in City District Government revealed the ongoing drive was just a waste of time and resources as no tangible result were seen in any of these drives. The sources said, "though scores of illegal structures were being removed throughout the city. But as soon as squads of the CDGL, the LDA and the TMAs returned after clearing encroachments causing impediments in movement of pedestrians and flow of traffic, the encroachers sprang up into action again, " they said. LDA officials seeking anonymity said in order to make the drive more effective, a mechanism was required to ensure that the same people do not encroach roads again. Sources disclosed that some officials recommended a strict legislation followed by a foolproof strategy before the start of encroachment drive. But top bureaucrats discouraged the suggestions and launched it without anticipating its repercussions, they said. They did not realise that failure of the drive would bring a bad name for the government, sources maintained. The encroachment drive against WASA drains was started after Eid. Under the campaign, all the drains spreading throughout the City located at Mahmood Booti, Shadbagh, Chota Ravi, Shahdra, Babo Saboo and Satto Katla had to be cleared from encroachment including markets, buildings and katchi abadies. Due to these encroachments, the drains remained chocked and undeslited and situation aggravated during heavy rains, they added. WASA announced Rs 1 billion project to clear the encroachment from the drains besides enhancing the capacity of drains, pumping stations. But the drive came to a grinding halt under political pressure. They said as most of the illegal structures belong to influential people, hence they used their political connections and stopped the campaign. The LDA had also planned to demolish structures build in 150 commercial building constructed against the building by-laws The demolition plan was the part of LDA's ongoing crackdown against illegal constructions, encroachment and land grabber mafia. DCO Sajjad Bhutta constituted a five member committee headed by DO (Environment) Javed Zaman to prepare new list of all those buildings. According to list, New Liberty Tower, Al-Rehman Medical Complex, Khan Arcade, Khan Shopping Centre, Hemain Tower, Hassan Town, Ijaz Centre, Macca Tower, Jeff Hight, Mega Tower, Ashrafi Height, Rehman Tower, Zarina Tower, Lak Hotel, Hotel Building, Variety Book Shop, Askari bank, Saddiqe Trade Centre and others. But again formula of political association was used to avert the drive. Now, all these plazas have been excluded from the current drive. It may be recalled that the commissioner Lahore, Khusro Pervaiz Khan announced during last meeting that current drive against encroachment would make a real difference DCO Lahore, Sajjad Ahmed Bhutta also assured that the operation would prove to be result oriented. "This time we are removing the permanent structures besides others that have spilled out of its building designs, he said. The operation was launched as an act of war, as encroachments remain a major stigma on the beauty of the city and a key obstacle in the resolution of many public problems, including traffic, he added. Haphazard encroachments along roadsides, footpaths, bus stops, vital installations and parking space in commercial buildings will also be removed. "We will not care the political affiliation," he added. The Punjab government led by Shahbaz Sharif successfully removed all encroachments from the main Garhi Shahu Bazaar during 1998 to 1999. It widened the main bazaar road being used by people coming from GT Road when the old Garhi Shahu Bridge was demolished to construct a wider bridge linking the Allama Iqbal Road to the GT Road. The road had now been encroached on again, blocking an alternate route to GT road.