HAFIZABAD -  Minister of State for National Health Services Saira Afzal Tarar had to advise the Hafizabad Municipal Committee officials to launch an anti-encroachment drive to ensure smooth flow of traffic on the city roads. Earlier, the MC staff could implement the orders of the new deputy commissioner to improve sanitary conditions and eliminate encroachments.

Thus, the minister had to hold a meeting especially convened for devising measures to eliminate encroachments particularly from Alipur Road, Vanike Road, Vanike Chowk, Fawara Chowk, Post Office road, Gujranwala Road near railway gate and Qatal Garrha Chowk. She called upon the administration to prepare a comprehensive and concrete plan to remove push carts in front of the shops which cause traffic mess and shift them to the deserted old east and west grain markets, model bazaar and other places to solve the problem once for all.

She said that no influence or pressure be accepted from any quarter. She, however, said that the livelihood of any poor vendor not be affected but they be shifted to other open places so that they could make their bread and butter. Efforts be made to declare busiest intersections and roads as "red zones" to facilitate the pedestrians particularly male and female students of schools and colleges, she added.

Deputy Commissioner Saleha Saeed briefed the minister about the steps taken so far to eliminate encroachments on the city roads. It is pertinent to mention that several half-hearted anti-encroachment campaigns had been launched in the recent past but these campaigns remained ineffective due to the presence of some corrupt municipal officers, councillors and a mafia. They extort money from the push cart owners on daily or monthly basis. Soon after assuming charge by the newly-posted DC Saleha Saeed, she strictly advised the municipal staff to improve sanitary conditions and eliminate encroachments but the municipal staff, as usual, failed to set the things right according to her whishes.

On the other side, robberies and thefts particularly cattle-lifting has increased. Expressing his grave concern over the rising incidents of theft and robbery in the area,  Member of Majlis-i-Shoora JI Punjab Amanullah said that the crime incidents have increased. He called upon the DPO and RPO to take stringent measures to prevent crimes by intensifying patrolling particularly during nights.

He said that during the past few days, Attaullah Tarar of Beriwala, Bashir Hanjra of Solangi Kharl and Muhammad Afzal were deprived of their cattle worth million of rupees while an ex-Nazim of Dhingranwali Rana Saghir Ahmad was tortured and deprived of his cash in broad daylight.

Similarly, unidentified burglars broken into the mobile shop of Javed on Vanike Chowk Hafizabad and decamped with cell phones and accessories worth Rs. 150,000. Two armed bandits intercepted a van near Moowan village and snatched away thousands of rupees from Riaz Ahmad and Nazar. The police have registered a case but failed to arrest any of the accused.

CALL FOR REBUILDING MUSAFIR KHANA: Local citizens have expressed their resentment over the demolition of Musafir Khana or accommodation for attendants and converting it into emergency at the DHQ Hospital.

They have called upon the district and DHQ Hospital administrations to construct Musafir Khana for the attendants of the patients who are now forced to sit and sleep under the open sky during the cold weather.