The Anti-Encroachment drive started in Karachi and other cities of Pakistan in order to free-up the public spaces which were used by the vendors. Due to the illegally occupied spaces by vendors, people have to face the traffic problems in their daily routines. The pedestrian walking spaces were illegally occupied by vendors causing trouble for the citizens.
In order to free-up the illegally occupied space, the Supreme Court of Pakistan ordered an Anti-Encroachment drive in different cities, backed by the law enforcers, had carried out the drive on the court order.
Mr. Nazar M.Laghari, consultant board of revenue submitted the report in which he added that according to the law of Sindh Public Property (Removal of Encroachment Act), 2010, the illegal occupants of public spaces will ne firstly provided with the notification before any kind of action against them. The notification states that shops, cabins and stalls that are illegally installed on pedestrian walks or on government’s land without government’s permission will be demolished. It further states that the portions, under construction and illegal floors of building will be destroyed with the help of gas, water and electricity department. Further, the action will also be taken against the illegally occupied sports ground. The government of Sindh was provided with the pictures of the demolished buildings three months before and after the action was taken. The further plan of action was also presented to the Supreme Court.
Though the encroachment drive was done to free-up the public spaces and to provide ease of mobility to the citizens, but the government had to face a huge backlash for their anti-encroachment drive because there was no plan made by the government for the people who lost their source of income during this encroachment drive. The vendors and hawkers were not provided with any alternates or any compensation for their huge losses. These people were from that sector of society whose livelihood depends on the daily wages and now they were left with no source of income at all, for their families.
By collecting information through different sources, it was estimated that so far 3757 shops have already been demolished. This has affected almost 17,500 workers and has increased the rate of unemployment in the country. If it is assumed that on an average basis that five people works on each shop, that has been demolished, so the number of people who are affected would shoot-up to 140,000 people on the basis of assumption that each worker have seven people dependent on him.
But the question arises here that whether the encroachment drive has attained its aim to free-up public spaces? The answer is Not as much as it was expected. The people has again started build their shops and stalls that were demolished during the encroachment drive and are continuing their business in that area. Even after all the destruction caused by the encroachment drive, the government failed to achieve their targeted goal.
The government should have a proper check and balance on the areas which have been cleared up in the anti-encroachment drive. Furthermore, the government should make some alternative plans or compensate people who lost their source of income during the anti-encroachment drive, so that, government can make sure that the government can make sure that these people doesn’t get involve in criminal activities and also to control the increasing un-employment of the country.
Sadaf Tanzeem Khan