ISLAMABAD: The much-trumpeted anti-encroachment drive of Capital Development Authority (CDA) may not gain its desired results until scope of the action is extended to other major areas of the federal capital, where illegal establishment has eclipsed the actual beauty of the city.
While drive against encroachers is being eulogised, the public, at the same time, seek action in other parts of capital to give a strong message that the drive is not only in a few targeted areas.
While the CDA, mandated to oversee the drive, was busy in reclaiming the state’s land from illegal occupants, the public appears less-satisfied with the pace of its encroachment campaign completely lacking monitoring mechanism to keep check on reemergence of such violators.
The civic authority had retrieved thousands of Kanal land from different areas of the capital includes The Korang Nullah, Kashmir Highway, Bani Gala, Faizabad, Sector G-12 and F-7 whereas major spots Imam Bari, Bara Kahu, Sitara market, Abpara, Melody, sector G-6, G-7, G-8 and other rural areas, however, did not manage to catch the attention of authorities concerned.
Expressing their concerns, the citizens on Monday urged the authorities concerned to tighten noose around encroachers who dared to challenge writ of the state by causing nuisance to the people with impunity.
Talking to APP, a resident of G-7/1 Bilal Haider said along the Nullauha, some people had encroached upon a huge chunk of valuable land of the CDA in shape of slums dwellers and recently had constructed costly multi-story houses on political basis.
Although, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had directed Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO) and Sui Northern Gas and Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) to severe their utility connections but the authorities concerned yet to take action against influential land grabbers due to Implications.
A government employ Sarfraz Ali shopping at Abpara Market said the mobility of buyers was disturbed due to advancement of shops, mobile vendors and eateries who now had trespassed half of the road, in the market, covering maximum open spaces.
A commuter Mumtaz khan at the same market said he was stuck in the market because of parked vehicles, stalls, kiosks and two-way traffic flow in addition to absence of Islamabad Traffic Police.
A buyer Shumaila Shabir demanded urgent action against food-lets prepared chicken and fish in boiling oil might cause burn injury to a visitor in such over-crowded place due to frequent movements of public.
An eatery requested not be named said the “Municipal corporation conducts massive operation once in blue moon when we all are being told a day earlier of such crackdown by the market unions’ members, alleging their contacts with some black sheep in department concerned.
The majority of shopkeepers were willingly paying heavy rent of shops in the market and later rented out to small encroachers, charging the latter Rs 500 per day.
A resident of sector G-8 Muhammad Zafran pointing out the car showrooms owners continue defiance still parked their vehicles on pavements and along the roads despite a clear direction of the apex court for dealing with such kind of encroachments.
He said they were pushed from the footpaths and said they were left with no other option but to jog the roads as the pavements were occupied these dealers.
Naveed Ahmed resident of Imam Bari regretted mushrooming illegal occupations in his area within short span which could be witnessed on the main road leads to Quid-e-Azam Universtiy, Muslim Colony, main van stop and other areas.
Regretting the clumsy approach of the department concerned, he said, “The operational force of the CDA seems at its wit’s end to deal with such elements as they are still there where they were despite several complaints.”
He said recently the CDA had conducted an operation in the area which he termed as targeted one, reportedly.
He said his locality earlier remained a business-centric location for vendors as it was among the most visited place of the capital due to great inflow of devotees, come to pay regards and offer prayers to Imam Bari Sarkar.
Now, the shopkeepers had started opening workshops without any permit or license along the main road due to a gradual rise in use of mobility modes among public.
When contacted Director Enforcement Faheem Badsha for his department’s version, he seemed unmoved despite several attempts.