Encroachments are the main reason of traffic jam: citizens

Riaz Khan Mayar

MARDAN: Encroachers have setup illegal structures at different bazaars and chowks which is the main reason of traffic jam in the City while the district administration is playing the role of a silent spectator.

According to a survey conducted by this scribe, several shops have been built in the area without getting the formal approval of maps, the encroachers also installed fruit and vegetable stalls on both side of the road, causing inconveniences for pedestrians. The encroachers have occupied chowks and bazaars of the city allegedly in connivance with concerned officials which contribute to traffic mess and inconvenience to pedestrians. Illegal tea stalls owners are selling unhygienic products including, juices, mineral water, tea and bread and looting out-door patients and visitors by selling commodities at high price as compared to market rates in front of district headquarter (DHQ) hospital and Mardan Medical Complex (MMC). No rate list has been displayed by any stallholder in sheer defiance of rules.

Asfandyar Khan, a customer said that the shopkeepers had occupied the footpaths and also had given road in front of their shop on rent to hand carts owners. Saleem Khan, another customer said that the banks and private medical centers had also installed their heavy generator on the footpaths. He added that majority of the private medical centers had no parking area and due to which in the evening a massive traffic jam problem created every day. He further stated that taxi drivers had also established illegal taxi stands on Shamshi Road.

Mohammad Naeem, a customer said that the encroachers had established illegal setups alongside roads by placing their showcases on footpath bearing items for sale which was troublesome for the costumers visiting the market. Farid Khan, another customer strongly criticized the district administration and tehsil municipal administration (TMA) and said that fruits, vegetables and fish sellers were selling in hand carts on the roads which was the main reason of traffic jam in the chowk. He added that the fishmongers were selling fish in handcarts on main road in the chowk. There was no proper arrangement for the parking of cars, and markets were full of garbage and diseases, he maintained.

Encroachment mafia has virtually occupied Stadium Road, Bank Road, Charsadda Chowk, Par Hoti Chowke, Pakistan Chowk, Shahidanoo Bazzar, Sarfar Gunj Bazzar, Shamshi Road, Gaju Khan Road and other bazzars and chowks of the city. They citizens alleged that the TMA Mardan’s encroachment department officials had been receiving monthlies. The citizens said that the encroachments were on the rise, because, the encroachers had their backs covered by influential persons and authorities concerned.

The citizens said that the main reason of traffic jam is the encroachments in the city. The people of Mardan demanded of the Prime Minister and Chief Justice to take action in this connection, because, the district administration was not serious to take action against the encroacher’s mafia and lawbreakers.

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