Will Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation act against encroachments?
Islamabad—After failure of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) in removing encroachments, especially those made by dozens of car showrooms in G-8/4, residents of the sector have pinned hopes on the new leadership of the city, Mayor of Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation (IMC) and his team.
A stroll in the sector, which otherwise is quite scenic and spacious and looks like a park and housing a large number of Muslim and Christian families, is sufficient to tell the roads are badly encroached leaving little room for the motorists to pass by. Even pedestrians find it difficult to walk on the pavement which too is encroached by the cars in this jungle of showrooms. Occupying footpaths lead to frequent traffic jam and sometime they result in fatal accident too.
There are around 50 big and small car showrooms established in one-shop ‘offices.’ The most luxurious ones are set up in two shops. These shops however are occupying acres of land including roads and footpaths making the lives of the office workers and residents miserable.
A one-shop car showroom owner when asked how many cars he was having there, boasted he was having 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. When this scribe warned him it was against law of land and he would face consequences, he shrugged saying as long as he keeps paying, there will be no such threat. Upon the idea now Metropolitan Corporation may take action against him, he said they are already approached by him. One thing we should all remember, he said, even the Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation will be having CDA’s officials and they are already very friendly.
On the other hand, this scribe daily receives dozens of phone calls, emails, etc in which the poor commuters who have to travel to the Sector G-8/4 for office or business purpose complain against mushrooming of car showrooms.
“I am running a small property office in the sector and I come all the way from sector I-10/4. It takes me hardly 20 minutes to reach the sector but when I reach here, I lose another 20 minutes in reaching my office due to shortage of space on roads in front of these showrooms. In Sector G-8/4 narrow roads become narrower thanks to these to these showrooms,” said a local real estate dealer who is running business here for years. Students of the local schools also complain against these car showrooms as they have to walk on roads because all the footpaths and pavements are occupied by various types of big and small cars belonging to these showrooms. Our only hope is now Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation said a parent Angela of the nearby Christian colony.