Karachi empress market after demolish

Karachi empress market after demolish


KARACHI: The ongoing anti-encroachment operation in Saddar entered its crucial phase on Sunday as authorities demolished more than 1,000 shops in four markets in the surroundings of the iconic Empress Market in an attempt to restore the British-era structure to its original shape.

The joint operation by the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation and other civic bodies backed by law enforcers was launched on the directives of the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court on Oct 27 ordered that the illegal encroachments in the metropolis be removed within the next 15 days.

A bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar heard a case against land mafia in Karachi at the top court’s Karachi registry.

Mayor Karachi had told the court that more than 70 per cent of Empress Market had been cleared. Moreover, the court directed the heads of the cantonment boards and rangers to cooperate with the administration in clearing out the encroachments in a peaceful manner and according to the law.

The operation against encroachments around Empress Market was launched on late Saturday night with the use of heavy machinery by the KMC’s anti-encroachment team. The shop owners were already intimated by the KMC administration to vacate the shops before they were bulldozed.

The teams had already cut off the connections of gas and electricity before razing illegal shops. The road outside Empress Market was later closed for traffic with heavy deployment of police and Rangers personnel. Traffic sergeants have also been stationed in the area diverting vehicular traffic towards alternative routes.

Saddar’s old clothes, birds, dried fruits markets no more
KMC authorities backed by heavy contingents of police and Rangers brought heavy machinery to Empress Market on Saturday night.
Roads leading to Empress Market were closed for vehicular traffic and at 7am the operation was launched.
The authorities said “four illegal markets” dealing with dried fruits, old clothes and a bird market were demolished.
“We have demolished 1,043 shops,” said KMC’s anti-encroachment director Bashir Ahmed Siddiqi.
He said Empress Market would be restored to its original shape within next 15 days.

Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhter, who visited the spot, told the media that beautiful parks would be established in the surroundings of Empress Market.
He recalled that illegal shops were established on the places where parks existed in the past. Due to this, the original master plan of the market was changed, he added.
He clarified that the anti-encroachment drive had been launched on the directions of the chief justice of Pakistan and prime minister.
He promised that the shopkeepers who had been giving rent to the KMC under a 30-year-old agreement would be accommodated at alternative places, preferably in the markets being run by the KMC in other parts of the city.
The mayor said that a committee had been established to this effect and an alternative place would be provided to the shopkeepers in a transparent manner.

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