The Federal capital has long been plagued with the problem of encroachment. There seemed to be no solution to this growing problem as over the recent few years the encroachers grabbed more and more space in various markets. In some major markets the situation was so severe that the encroachers had left no space for the shoppers. Temporary kiosks turned into permanent shops and more and more land was grabbed with impunity. A few months ago a comprehensive operation was carried out by the Capital Development Authority (CDA). Most major markets of the capital were completely cleared and even those settlements that had become permanent were removed. The authority faced opposition and protests from traders but it stuck to its task and carried forward the operation. The series of anti-encroachment operations were conducted along the Expressway, Markaz G-10, Blue Area, Faisal Market, Terlai, Park Road, F-11, Faisal Mosque, G-11, G-9/1, I-9, G-7/3-2 and other areas.
However unfortunately, now that few months have passed after the operation was carried out encroachers are back with more force than ever. This is exactly the problem that was highlighted in one of the previous editorials that the Authority will have to keep a stringent check in markets to ensure that encroachments don’t surface again. The reemergence after such a large scale operation portrays how deep rooted the problem has become and how some in the Capital Development Authority seem to have a soft spot for these encroachers as they have become a source of major ‘money stream’ for them. Now it is up to the Chairman CDA to figure out a way to rid the city of these encroachments. The problem has become so severe in some of the major markets of Islamabad that citizens have started avoiding visiting certain commercial areas as traffic is always choked in these areas. The local body representatives of Islamabad have also failed to address this issue in fact some are among the major contributors to the issue of encroachment.
CDA seems uninterested in finding a long term solution to the problem.
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