Despite court orders and the visit of Justice Ibadur Rehman Lodhi of LHC to different city markets, encroachments could not be removed as encroachers still rule almost all markets of the town. Justice Ibadur Rehman during his surprise visit on February 3 to check anti-encroachment operations had directed the administration to clear all encroachments from city markets and take action in accordance with the law against encroachers to provide relief to the citizens, but, the situation could not be changed and encroachments are still there. He had directed the authorities concerned to accelerate anti-encroachment operation to remove encroachment from commercial areas and to clear roads and streets for vehicular movement and pedestrians.
The justice had also directed the City Traffic Officer to disallow public service Suzuki drivers to park their vehicles in four lanes in Bara bazaar, adding, “Only two lines should be allowed in the bazaar.” The Justice had instructed the traffic police to clear the Circular Road and ban illegal parking of motorcycles on roads and footpaths. But, the authorities concerned miserably failed to achieve the targets and could not bring a visible change particularly in commercial hubs of the town. It is pertinent to mention here that earlier, LHC, Rawalpindi Bench, Justice Ibadur Rehman Lodhi had also ordered the city district government high-ups in August 2016 to implement court’s orders regarding removal of encroachments from main roads and markets.
The court had expressed annoyance over non-implementation of the orders regarding removal of encroachments from Cantt areas, Rawal and Potohar Towns, cleaning of nullahs and removal of unauthorised speed breakers on the city roads. The citizens talking to APP said that despite the court orders, the encroachments are still visible in city and cantonment areas particularly in thickly populated localities and on congested roads. They said that encroachments, choked nullahs, illegal parking, unauthorised speed breakers and large cat-eyes on major roads including city and cantonment areas are creating problems for the citizens and the authorities concerned are paying no attention towards the issues.
One can visit the city markets to observe the ground situation and check the performance of anti-encroachment staff and the authorities concerned. The claims made by the civic authorities regarding removal of encroachments from the city and cantonment areas have proved baseless because the customers visiting different markets in the city could not find space to park their vehicles.—APP