The biggest metropolis of the city witnessed a large scale anti-encroachment drive during the past two months.

City father or Mayor of Karachi Waseem Akhtar who belongs to Muttahidda Qaumi Movement , Pakistan is leading the drive on the orders of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

The drive started from historic Empress Market Saddar named after Queen of United Kingdom as Britain ruled Karachi, a part of Bombay province in undivided India . More than 1200 shops which sprung up around more than century old market were demolished. A huge area was cleared of the illegal shops.

The other  major roads linking business district of Saddar like one  adjacent to Rainbow Center,  road  linking  Karachi Grammar School on which transport mafia has established  offices and  stages were also freed from  encroachment.

The drive was later spread to all the four districts of the Karachi division East, West, Central districts. In most cases, shopkeepers after gauging the resolve of the  city administration voluntarily removed the shades , extended counters etc  within time allowed by the authorities.

The businesses remained shut for few days to implement the orders causing loss of billions while rendering thousands jobless.

The drive has slowed down in preceding weeks but is continuing amid claims by the  provincial government, local  government department, anti-encroachment departments of the civic bodies that “City of Lights “  will be restored to its original shape i.e of early fifties.

Unfortunately the drive seems to have lost not only steam but also objective. The encroachments of other kinds have sprung up. The shop keepers although technically followed the orders but in reality they are not ready to give up the footpaths recovered during the anti-encroachment drive.

Placing obstructions, parking old motorcycles, they by hook or crook are still encroaching the footpaths meant for pedestrians. Similarly the mobile vendors occupying the roads, market have not moved an inch. This time moving encroachments replaces concrete immovable encroachments. The transport mafia is back again to its places, their vehicles causing nuisance to moving traffic as always.

Official Mafia : No encroachment appear without connivance of the  area police and officials of city district government as these people are the one who are supposed to remove the encroachments as soon as they emerge. The posting in Saddar area is always a political one going to officials who can pay back to their “ unseen  masters “.

The Remedy:  The city administrators must introduce extreme punitive measures for both the police officials as well as city government officials of the area concerned where and whenever an encroachment  appears including immediate suspension leading to dismissal from service so that they wont allow any illegal activity.

This alone can save Karachi from encroachments in future and facilitate general public at-least having safe troll on footpaths.