KARACHI: The chronic civic issue of traffic jams on main roads in the sprawling Karachi metropolis persists as some selective encroachments have been left untouched during the recent anti-encroachment drive.
The Main University Road has been a glaring example of this approach, where the anti-encroachment squads removed stalls of petty vendors, but left spacious encroachments of eateries and restaurants untouched.
On the instructions of Karachi Administrator Rauf Akhtar Farooqui, a squad of Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) anti-encroachment taskforce, led by chairman Bilal Manzar and anti-encroachment director Mazhar Khan, carried out a grand operation on the Main University Road from Safoora Chowrangi to Karachi University, removing dozens of encroachments.
Local residents however say that some crucial and big encroachments were left untouched. They complain that the eateries and restaurants, which occupy considerably large portions of the service roads near Mosimiat Chowrangi, have evaded the razing action.
These encroachments are still hindering a smooth flow of traffic on the busiest part of the road near Mosimiat Chowrangi. The service road of the junction of Main University Road and Jauhar Road is occupied from either side and encroachments are still intact there.
The service road of the junction of Main University Road with Jauhar Chowrangi Road is occupied by the marketing office of an apartments project. As a result, motorists going to Jauhar Chowrangi Road from Safoora Goth side face severe gridlocks.
Also, a structure of some watchtower being built at the turn of the junction, blocking the traffic flow, has been the icing on the cake.
The opposite side of the road junction is occupied by a restaurant, where they had constructed kitchens and other facilities on the service road, erecting tents and placing furniture for their customers, who dine there.
Due to occupation of this whole section of service road traffic coming from Jauhar Chowrangi to Karachi University side faces severe problems.
A nearby gas station is another hindrance in smooth traffic flow and two to three lanes of the road are usually blocked by long lines of vehicles, especially on the next day of CNG closure schedule.
Other encroachments of eateries and restaurants from Mosimiat Chowrangi to Safoora Goth at Jauhar Complex and other sites have also been left untouched during the anti-encroachment operation from the Safoora Chowrangi to Karachi University.
The citizens regret this selective approach of removing encroachments would not help resolve the issue of traffic jams.
A Karachi Metropolitan Corporation official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, says the operation against illegal encroachments between Safoora Chowrangi to Karachi University is still in progress. The official says they have only completed the first phase of the drive and that the remaining encroachments, including roadside restaurants, will be removed in the next phase, as the government has given strict instructions for their complete removal.
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