Footpaths, pavements encroached by one-shop car showrooms

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G-8 residents hardly find space to walk

Zubair Qureshi

Islamabad—Dozens of car showrooms established in single shutter shops are becoming a pain in the neck for the residents and commuters who have to encounter daily traffic jams caused because of these showrooms. Interestingly these one-shop car showrooms are defying all the rules and regulations of the CDA that has made tall claims of removing encroachments from the city. CDA headquarters that is in Sector G-7, just across the 8th Avenue is helpless before the influential owners of these showrooms. Talking to Pakistan Observer, a doctor of the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) which also happens to be in this Sector G-8 Markaz regretted he had to come to the G-8 Markaz two or three times daily and never has he seen a day when he could smoothly pass by these showrooms which have parked their hundreds of cars on the road.
“I feel upset because whenever I have to park my car at some medical store or diagnostic centre to take some medicine or get a patient tested because there is no space for car parking for common people. Moreover there is no space to walk as footpaths and pavements are occupied by the cars,” said he.
One-shop car showroom owns at least 10 to 12 cars. Where can the owner park them? Of course, on the empty space beside the roads thus depriving the commuters and residents of the flats and apartments in the nearby plazas of their civic rights, said he.
On the other hand, Capital Development Authority whose Public Relations office daily issues a press release reiterating the authority’s resolve to purge the sectors of encroachments is quite indifferent to the woes of the residents and the commuters of the sector. Even patients and their attendants complain of the short of space in the sector when they come to the medical stores for medicines or the clinics for checkup. “It has taken place quite a number of times when patients come to the clinics set up in the Sector G-8 Markaz but cannot reach there on time because they have to park their vehicles on the other side of the sector and by the time they reach these clinics appointment is cancelled,” said a popular chemist shop proprietor.
A one-shop car showroom owner when asked how many cars he was having there, boasted he had 12 Corolla GLI models, 17 Suzuki Mehran, five Toyota Vitz and a couple of Suzuki Swift. When asked further where he parked those cars since there was no space for parking more than one car in front of his ‘office’, he said the empty space around was serving the purpose. “Look at the road, empty pavement, footpaths—they are all ours!”
Owner of a comparatively bigger showroom—of two shops—when requested to vacate the 500-sq metre area his brand new cars were occupying thus motorists, pedestrians and the street walkers, said he had no plan to do so. “I have spent hundreds and thousands of rupees to take this area from CDA. How can I remove my pajeero motors from here,” he said. CDA is very ‘kind’ to us as we keep serving the authority, he further said. An official of the CDA when asked to respond to the overwhelming number of car showroom in the sector G-8 Markaz, said action would be taken against those car showrooms that had encroached the public footpaths and pavements. When this scribe told him almost every car showroom had occupied the footpath and pavements, he said CDA enforcement wing would soon start operation against these showrooms.

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