Cabins, other structures of welfare organisations removed from footpaths

3

In a bid to clean footpaths from cabins of different welfare organisations, including Edhi Foundation, Chippa, Saylani, Alamgir Welfare Trust, Jafaria Disaster Management Cell, the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation’s (KMC) anti-encroachment department launched its crackdown on Tuesday.The welfare organisations are going to lose millions of rupees in ‘chanda’ (donations), which they get from citizens. Few of such welfare organisations provide meals to thousands of underprivileged people who wander around the streets by setting up ‘dastarkhawans’ on footpaths along different roads of Karachi.KMC director anti-encroachment Bashir Siddiqi said that their department would penalise these welfare organisations if their installations emerged again. The anti-encroachment department, he explained, could impose a fine as per its Rule 7 of the Anti-Encroachment Act 1973. The amount of the penalty can range from Rs15,000 to Rs 25,000 if any welfare organisation tries to set up their cabins again.As per its plan, the corporation started its drive against the installations of welfare organisations in District Central. More than 50 ‘dastarkhawans’ and other installations were razed to the ground at the footpaths in Golimar, Gulberg, Nazimabad, North Nazimabad, Godra, New Karachi, Nagan Chowrangi, Liaquatabad and Sohrab Goth.The KMC, according to Siddiqi, has planned its anti-encroachment operation in two phases. In the first phase, they would remove cabins and other installations of welfare organisations from footpaths in the morning and after sunset they would remove tea stalls and restaurants spreading all over public spaces, such as footpaths and roads, which also clog the traffic.This operation is in continuation of a crackdown in which the KMC has demolished several illegal shops and their boards protruding outside on footpaths throughout the city. As per the court’s order, he said that none of the welfare activities could be allowed on footpaths. The KMC has stopped issuing challans for setting up such stalls and cabins on footpaths and roads.Meanwhile, philanthropist Ramzan Chhipa of Chhipa Welfare Organisation said the encroachments from footpaths are being removed the KMC on directives of the Supreme Court which they support.However, he requested the government to make arrangements for them so that they could continue their welfare work. “We are cooperating with the KMC in its operation, but the authorities should also think over the issue on humanitarian ground,” he added.Saad Edhi said that they would cooperate with the government in its operation. However, he requested the government not to let their ambulance service suffer because of it. Another operation in this regard is going to kick off today in the city’s District East on the directives of the Supreme Court. The anti-encroachment department has written a letter in this regard to the deputy commissioner of District East, about the removal of structures/encroachments from footpaths and amenity plots.The KMC, according to the letter, has planned that the operation against the encroachments will start at 11am on Wednesday and continue round the clock for two days. Due to apprehensions of a law and order situation, the KMC has requested a heavy contingent of police and support from the paramilitary Rangers.