RAWALPINDI - The enforcement department of district government launched an ant-encroachment operation at Chungi Number 20 to eradicate violations from various roads here on Friday.

The operation was carried out following instructions of Deputy Commissioner Chaudhry Ali Randhawa and Assistant Commissioner Saddar Circle Zahid Khan to remove the encroachments.

During the operation, barriers, iron counters, tables and other encroachments were removed. However, the locals declared the anti-encroachment operation by the district government as an eye wash and a bid to remove pressure from the DC after dozens of area people tendered complaints with him against the massive encroachments on Adiala Road, Rah-e-Sakoon, Dhama Mor, Chungi Number 20, Ali Town, Munawwar Colony, Hill View, Jarahi, Kehkashan Colony and Gulshanadabad main gate.

The locals also alleged that the enforcement department conducted operation against encroachments on Friday, the day mostly shopkeepers observe holiday and all the bazaars, markets and shops remain closed.

Adnan Raja, a local, told The Nation that the massive encroachments on busiest Adiala Road had made the lives of residents a hell. He said that all the shopkeepers had extended their stalls of different stuff even on road making it no go zone for traffic and pedestrians. He said that dozens of local people lodged complaints with the DC requesting him to order the authorities concerned to carry out operation against encroachments. “The corrupt officials of the enforcement department choose a holiday for operation to show their performance and to throw mud into eyes of DC,” he said.

Azmat Khan, another local, said that the enforcement department officials used to charge Rs2,000 from each shopkeeper as ‘monthly’ to allow them to display their stuffs on roads and footpaths. He said that the DC and AC had been informed about corrupt practices of the officials of enforcement department but no action had been taken so far.

Many other locals said that several markets and plazas had been built illegally and without the building plans approved from RDA and other authorities concerned. “We have moved applications with DC in this regard and pinning our hope with him for legal action,” they said.

DC Chaudhry Ali Randhawa, AC Saddar Circle Zahid Khan and spokesperson of district government did not attended phone calls to know their version over anti-encroachment operation by the enforcement department.