–All tiers of civil administration, CDA enforcement and traffic police remain silent spectators
ISLAMABAD: The dedicated parking areas for customers, general public and traders in major markets and marakiz of the capital have been encroached upon by car dealers to the extent that parts of sectors G-11, G-9, G-8, Blue Area and other markets and marakiz have become no-go areas for general public due to a lack of parking space and encroachments on pavements.
The city authorities woke from their slumber and undertook an anti-encroachment operation two weeks ago in Sector G-8 along with district administration and police. The operation was carried out swiftly for security reasons as former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was moved to PIMS and the area had to be cleared and properly searched.
The main market of Sector G-8 gave a look of a car assembly plant as hundreds of new cars were parked in an orderly fashion in the area reserved for the general public. The state of affairs in the main markets of sectors G-9 and G-11 is not much different either. The whole parking lots have been eaten up by imported cars of all sizes and price range.
Sources at Capital Development Authority (CDA) told Pakistan Today that when enforcement wing asks the car owners to remove their merchandise from parking lots, they toe a very unique line that these cars don’t even belong to them and are left here by their owners. Many even claim that they are just looking after the cars while their owners are away.
The showroom owners began to encroach upon the footpaths and parked their cars on the side lines of the roads, thus establishing their reign over the space earmarked exclusively for customers.
The automobile moguls show blatant disregards of civic responsibilities as these showrooms deny the emergency services right of way to allow them to reach the place of emergency in time. Furthermore, the whole display of cars is an attempt to alter the very nature of land as the illegal water supply connections have disturbed the waterbed balance of entire sectors, as per CDA’s statistics.
The presence of showrooms not only eats up space for customers’ parking but also has an adverse effect on the market value of shops located in the plazas where these showrooms are situated.
When asked about the space occupied by their cars, the showroom owners in G-11 Markaz told Pakistan Today that they are willing to move the vehicles to a dedicated market if authorities provide them with one.
“It is the duty of authorities concerned to make such arrangements. There should be an exclusive car market for automobile dealers. So if they give us the land, we’ll move there,” said Salman, a car dealer.
“It looks like these showrooms have bought the pavements and parking spots and have shamelessly occupied the already shrinking parking space in Blue Area. I request the CDA to take action so that the common man can have some peace of mind,” said Syed Shahrukh, a chartered accountant.
“Anti-encroachment operations, undertaken at regular intervals, are in progress all over the capital. The CDA is collaborating with market associations and the dealers have given assurances that the situation will be resolved amicably,” said CDA spokesperson when contacted.