rawalpindi - The Lahore High Court (LHC) Rawalpindi Bench on Friday has given seven days to Municipal Corporation Rawalpindi, Zilah Council and Cantonment Boards’ authorities for the removal of massive encroachments from the city. The apex court also directed the City Police Officer to provide maximum security to the teams of enforcement departments of the civic bodies. Chief Traffic Officer was also ordered to depute extra force of wardens in markets and bazaars for keeping the traffic flow smooth during anti encroachment drive. The court asked the bosses of civic bodies to submit their report within seven days. According to details, LHC Rawalpindi Bench Justice Ibad Ur Rehman Lodhi took up contempt of court petitions filed against massive encroachments in the city, illegal parking lots for oil tankers in residential areas, installation of iron speed breakers and cat eyes of roads and illegal construction along with banks of nullah Leh and other seasonal nullahs. The petitions were filed by Anwar Dar through Advocate Inam Ur Raheem.  During the proceeding, Additional Advocate General Punjab Shafqat Munir Malik apprised the court that he contacted the Secretary Local Government Punjab who had said that Rawalpindi is part of Punjab province and the authorities have ordered launching an anti encroachment operation from October 15.

On this, Justice Ibad ur Rehman Lodhi asked the AAGP as to who would lead the anti encroachment operation. He also snubbed the Mayor Rawalpindi for keeping his eyes closed over massive encroachments in various parts of the city. Mayor Rawalpindi Sardar Nasim, on the occasion, informed that court traders and other people took out rallies against him for launching the anti encroachment operation. He also argued that police had not provided him with security while the powers of magistrates conferred to assistant commissioners were also curtailed. LHC Justice Ibad Ur Rehman Lodhi observed that the civic bodies had removed encroachments on court orders a year ago. He directed DC Rawalpindi Dr Umer Jahangir to start an operation against encroachments without seeing here and there. 

DC told LHC judge that he has been in touch with Anjuman Tajran in this regard on which Justice Ibad Ur Rehman Lodhi remarked the traders are involved in encroachments for earning money.

The LHC ordered the civic bodies to launch operation clean up in the city and deferred the hearing till October 19. In the courtroom, CPO Abbas Ahsan, CEO Zilah Council Kamran Khan, CO Municipal Corporation Shafqat Raza, Bilal Rashid from Rawalpindi Cantonment Board, Chakala Cantonment Board CEO Ishaq Malik, lawyers Chaudhry Yaqoob, Waqar Ul Haq Sheikh, Raja Faisal Ghanni, Agha Tariq Mehmood and DSP Legal Shazia Fazli were also present.