HAFIZABAD-All sorts of encroachments, on most of the city roads, have resurfaced mainly due to indifferent attitude of the authorities concerned.

About six months back, as a survey of The Nation reveals, the district administration had directed the shopkeepers to demolish the encroached places in front of their shops voluntarily or they would be demolished by the anti-encroachment staff otherwise.

The pushcart owners and rickshaw drivers were directed to park their carts and vehicles at fixed points for smooth flow of traffic. The administration had also demarcated different thoroughfares particularly Gujranwala Road, Post Office Road and Jalalpur Road from Fawara Chowk to Old City police station and directed the shopkeepers to demolish five to six feet encroached land in front of their shops for smooth flow of traffic. The administration had also directed them not to allow pushcarts in front of their shops.

However, dozens of poor shopkeepers particularly on Jalalpur Road had demolished more than five feet ‘illegal’ construction in front of their shops, but about a dozen influential shopkeepers flouted the orders of the administration. Due to demolition of over dozens of shops, the dream to widen the road could not be fulfilled. Moreover, the demolition of cover on the drains, encroached places before shops and sunshades on Jalalpur Road, Post Office Road and Kolo Road and the stink emanating from the open drains have created multiple problems for the shopkeepers as well as shoppers. The administration had wasted millions of rupees by hiring heavy machinery to demolish the encroachments; but due to half-hearted campaign, the anti-encroachment operation absolutely failed.

Furthermore, the civic authorities have completely failed to provide hygienic conditions in the city as most of the staff evince little interest to properly monitor the scavengers. Most of the street corners were littered with filth and garbage as most of the vehicles lifting the garbage had been lying out of order.

There is an urgent need of recruiting at least 400 workers and more funds for the repair and purchase of necessary equipment to ensure better sanitary conditions in the city before the upcoming rainy season to prevent weather related diseases.