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Karachi

November 9, 2018
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Tenancy agreements with Empress Market shopkeepers stand cancelled: mayor

Karachi

November 9, 2018

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All tenancy agreements signed by the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) with shopkeepers of Empress Market and its adjacent markets stand cancelled.

Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar said this while speaking to protesting shopkeepers of Empress Market on Thursday which was the fourth day of the operation against encroachments in the Saddar area. However, the mayor announced that the KMC will provide the tenant shopkeepers alternative shops at its markets.

The mayor told the protesters that in order to provide alternative shops to them, the Karachi commissioner will constitute a committee which will hold dialogues with the tenants and decide the course of action.

Akhtar also made it clear that the operation against encroachments would continue. He claimed that all the political leadership, administration and KMC were united to implement the orders of the Supreme Court.

The mayor also warned that all those who were trying to create lawlessness to avert the operation would be dealt with an iron fist. The supremacy of law will be maintained by all means, he said, adding that all kinds of encroachments would be removed on the orders of the apex court.

The mayor also called for beautifying the city and said removing encroachments on footpaths was a must to give a beautiful look to Karachi. According to Akhtar, the removed encroachments will not be allowed to re-emerge. Those who are thinking that they will again grab the public land are living in a fool’s paradise as it will not be allowed to happen, he stated.

The mayor advised shopkeepers doing business on encroached upon land around Empress Market to take out all their valuables from their shops or else they would be responsible for their losses.

To the stance of the protesting shopkeepers that they paid rent regularly to the KMC, the mayor said all tenancy agreements made with the shopkeepers in the past had been cancelled. He asked the shopkeepers not to create any kind of hurdle in the demolition of illegal shops.

We want pedestrians to use footpath for walking who are forced to walk on roads by encroachers, Akhtar said, adding that encroachments of any kind made the city ugly. The mayor maintained that he wanted to see Karachi in the same shape as it was during the times of his forefathers. We are determined to bring Karachi to its original shape, he said.

During Thursday’s operation, encroachments were completely removed from Zeenat Market, Abdullah Haroon Road, Raja Ghazanfar Ali Road and Akbar Road. The adjoining alleys were also cleared of encroachments. The operation was being carried out at Bohri Bazaar when the story was filed.

A heavy contingent of police had been deployed in the Saddar area to provide security to the anti-encroachment team. Speaking to The News, KMC Municipal Commissioner Dr Saif Ur Rehman said a strategy had been prepared to ensure that the encroachments do not emerge again and task forces had been constituted for this purpose.

Vehicles were not allowed to go from M. A. Jinnah Road towards Empress Market, due to which commuters had to suffer traffic jam on M. A. Jinnah Road and surrounding thoroughfares.

The mayor said he was fully aware of problems being faced by people due to the anti-encroachment drive but such temporary problems could not be avoided as the city administration had to implement the Supreme Court order.

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