Capital’s oldest Aabpara market purged of illegally built sheds, constructions

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Zubair Qureshi

Enforcement Directorate of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) demolished around 200 sheds constructed illegally in front of various shops and plazas in the oldest market of Islamabad i.e. Aabpara Market. More than 35 illegally constructed shops within the plazas of the market were also razed. They were earlier pointed out and during last six months the proprietors of these shops were served with notices several times but they took no action. Resultantly after seeing little progress on their part, the CDA took action and demolished these constructions on Wednesday.
According to eye witnesses and those who are well aware of the CDA operations in the past, this was the civic authority’s biggest operation so far against illegal constructions and encroachments. The operation started before dawn Wednesday morning and continued late by the time of filing this report.
According to the CDA Mayor, Sheikh Anser Aziz the anti-encroachment drive is taken up without any prejudice towards any section/part of the traders’ community. He was of the view that Aabprara is the oldest market of the city and is known as an icon of city however because of the encroachments, he further added, the market was losing its former grandeur and glory. We also received a number of complaints from the general public regarding encroachments in the market. He said that in the past number of times anti-encroachment operations were conducted but not a single operation remained successful. Therefore, a well planned and coordinated operation was required for complete eradication of encroachments from the Aabpara Market.
He also directed demolition of all the illegal constructions in the market. He said that elected representatives of respective union councils and traders associations are also being taken on board to achieve desired results.
The operation conducted at Aabpara Market was personally supervised by Director Enforcement and participated by 200 officials and Officers of Enforcement Directorate while Islamabad Capital Administration (ICT) and Islamabad Police also provided the assistance during this operation. In order to make operation conducted at Aabpara Market a success, it was started before dawn. During the operation, heavy machinery was also used to demolish illegal constructions. During the operation all moveable and immoveable encroachments established in the verandas and footpaths of different plazas were also removed.

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