Islamabad has long been plagued with the disease 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. The recent operation carried out by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) was relentless and widespread. Most major markets of the capital were completely cleared and even those settlements that had become permanent have been 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 thereby removed all moveable and immovable encroachments.
Speaking recently about the issue the Mayor said that that the main purpose of this drive is to restore natural grace of the city by eradicating encroachments completely from the entire city. However unfortunately, now that few weeks have passed after the operation was carried out encroachers have slowly started to surface once again. 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 why so soon after the operation all the good work has been undone. If the Chairman looks deep enough he’ll find out that the answer lies within CDA.
All the good work of the recent few weeks has now been undone.