Encroachments revive amidst massive drives to curb the menace: survey

Fawad Maqsood December 11, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The civic bodies of Rawalpindi mainly Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (RCB), Chaklala Cantonment Board (CCB) and Rawalpindi Municipal Corporation (RMC) are in a fix as the most of the encroachments wiped out have revived leaving the citizens and traffic in jeopardy.

“We had a sigh of relief when anti-encroachment drive razed the structures made on the property which was occupied illegally by the land grabbers in Rawalpindi,” a senior resident of Jhanda Chichi Akbar Malik said while talking to APP.

“We were relieved he said, as carts and cemented pavements were removed by the authorities concerned during last month anti-encroachment drive, but the violators have reconstructed the pavements and grabbed the land illegally, he added.

The roads turned wide and clean due to removal of encroachments, but unfortunately, the actions and measures did not last for long as it was expected, Sakeena Javed another resident of Rahimabad said.

“I have two school going children and it gets quite difficult for them to reach their school due to encroachments”, she said.

Moreover, these cemented stairs and pushcarts, double the problems of pedestrians and cyclists, built on sidewalks on the roads, Saleem Iqbal a restaurant owner said.

The real troublemakers were the makeshift vendors who display their items hampering public movement on the tracks, he stated. Muhammad Iqbal, a driver of pick and drop van said, “Parents complain for being late while reaching and dropping their children in time as encroachments halted the flow of traffic and we stayed stuck on the roads.”

“This time land mafia had faced stern action from the authority concerned unlike the previous governments so we were sure that they would not re-emerge for some time, but they reoccurred just in a blink of eye,” said Shahid Akmal, a shopper in Raja Bazaar.

“It seems as encroachers appear and grab the land right under the nose of authorities concerned,” he regretted.  When contacted the vice president of Chaklala Cantonment Board Irfan Raja said that insufficient staff had worsen the problems, as keeping an eye on the mafia was not achievable.

“We will definitely take any possible measure to abolish this nuisance from the CCB area”, he assured.

When contacted by this scribe, RCB spokesperson Qaiser Mahmood hung up the call whereas RMC officials were not available for their version on the situation.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2018

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