No leniency in anti-encroachments drive

Published on – April 13, 2019 – 7:00 am
By

Entitlement to illegal land is a prevalent problem in Quetta. On the order of Supreme Court, Quetta Metropolitan Corporation (QMC) has begun a drive to reclaim illegally-occupied government land that was marked for use as public spaces such as parks and playgrounds.


Entitlement to illegal land is a prevalent problem in Quetta. On the order of Supreme Court, Quetta Metropolitan Corporation (QMC) has begun a drive to reclaim illegally-occupied government land that was marked for use as public spaces such as parks and playgrounds.

Not believing in the value of such facilities, Land Mafia, builders and other greedy minds claimed the land and constructed illegal structures such as wedding halls and schools. At present, the number of occupied lands is undisclosed.

Recently, Chief Minister Balochistan, Jam Kamal Khan has shown satisfaction over the actions taken during “Anti Encroachment Week”.

While praising the performance of administration, Chief Minister Balochistan has directed to continue crackdown on encroachments and land grabbers.

To remove encroachments, effective actions under the supervision of Deputy Commissioners and Assistant Commissioners were taken at District Lorali, Jaffarabad, Naseerabad, Turbat and other Districts of Balochistan.

During the campaign, grabbed lands were restored and encroachments were demolished by using heavy machinery.

Such action would be continued against encroachments and shopkeepers should avoid from infringements while strict action would be taken against them.

It’s no mean feat restoring Quetta to its past glory, to the days when its streets would be given an olive oil wash, to a time of broad streets and wide alleys to speak for its properly-planned landscape.

Regardless of who disobey rules, all need to be held accountable, instead of the opposite example being set here in which influential persons are being allowed to continue their illegal occupancy, despite a citywide clean-up ordered by the Supreme Court.

There are more than tens of thousands of push carts or animal driven carts operating in the main commercial especially in districts Quetta hampering the flow of traffic. Hiring or buying a push cart is very easy for an unemployed or jobless man to start a business with marginal capital. The push cart is moving around, the man can earn his livelihood.

The vendors were found reacting collectively whenever the police or the QMC administration try to take some action, the vendors and encroachers retaliated and some time they attacked the police parties at public places.  In our experience, we found a small number of administration officials resisting the pressure tactics and blackmail and they strongly retaliated by arresting all of them on the charges of hooliganism and vandalism besides imposing fines.

It is a welcome move by Provincial government to demolish or remove all encroachments on the roads, footpaths improving the flow of traffic on the roads while pedestrians are using footpaths for safety on the roads. There is a need that the encroachments, vendors’ shops and push carts should not be allowed within the commercial districts of Quetta enabling the sanitary staff to clean the roads, remove the dirt without any delay and allow the free flow of traffic.

Despite that one the foremost issue is that the owners of car showrooms have parked their saleable vehicles on the footpaths and roads causing congestion in the commercial areas of Quetta. In the past courts also had rendered a disservice to the millions of people of Quetta by allowing the showrooms to park their vehicles on roads and footpath or outside their showrooms.

The Court should hear the case and take a decision in favour of the millions of people and bar the showroom owners from parking their commercial vehicles at the public places. It is one of the major causes of congestion on the city roads hampering the flow of normal traffic. They should be removed and the car showrooms should be taken out of the city limits.

It might be proffered that some officials are taking a cut from the revenue generated through commercial use of encroached land, such as the wedding banquets and schools. This must be investigated and the QMC and local administration must be supported, and enforced, to deal with all illegal land mafias in the same way so that public parks and playgrounds can be added to Quetta’s dull industrial landscape.