The encroachments have always been a problem in the federal capital, but in last four years, the land being occupied by encroachers inside and outside Islamabad is unprecedented as the Capital Development Authority (CDA) is reluctant to take any action against the illegal activity.
As hundreds of kiosks have surfaced along main roads and residential sectors, the main stops like Markaz G-9, Faizabad and Pirwadhai Morr (on I J Principal Road) have become main attraction for encroachers.
The increasing encroachments are not only a major security threat, but are also a blot on the face of Islamabad metropolitan.
In last few months, a new bazaar has surfaced near bus stands located on I J Principal Road in Sector I-11, which extend up to Sector I-10. A visit to the area shows that hundreds of temporary shops have been raised on the median strip and on both sides of the I J Principal Road and the Service Road (old I J Principal Road).
A resident of Sector I-10 told ‘The News’ that the shops of woollies and other items along I J Principal Road and the service road have not been created overnight. He said there were a few fruit vendors, who used to sit along the service road, but during last few months, these stalls have multiplied to a complete bazaar. In fact, there are two bazaars — one on the I J Principal Road and the other one on the service road. According to him, he saw CDA teams in the area many a time, but they did not take any action against encroachers.
Most shopkeepers have arranged for power generators to continue their business after sunset, while the remaining have taken electricity connections from kiosks or they are using gas lamps.
CDA (Enforcement) Deputy Director Malik Atta admitted increase in number of encroachments along I J Principal Road, but he said that they could not carry out an operation against encroachers, as workers were busy in campaign for the CDA union elections on December 13. “As soon as the union council elections end, we will conduct a major operation there,” he said.
However, people interviewed by this scribe said the mushroom growth of encroachments should have been stopped in the start, but now the CDA could face strong resistance from encroachers.