The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) has announced provision of alternative shops to the shopkeepers of the KMC Jubilee Market in the Garden area as their shops, having been declared as encroachments on drains, are being removed on directives of the Supreme Court.
KMC Administrator Laeeq Ahmed made the announcement to this effect on Thursday as he spoke to a delegation of shopkeepers of the market at his office. He said the KMC was not happy with the demolition of any market or house and it did not want to make people homeless or unemployed as a majority of the people doing businesses in the KMC’s markets belonged to the middle class.
“They (the shopkeepers) belong to poor and middle class and their only source of livelihood was these shops but in the past, these shops were built on drains which affected the drainage process and caused problem for the citizens,” he added.
The delegation comprised President of Jubilee Cloth Market Association Ghani Memon, members Iqbal Abdul Aziz and Muhammad Asif, and Sindh Traders Ittehad Chairman Jamil Paracha. KMC Senior Director Coordination Khalid Khan, Senior Director Anti-Encroachment Bashir Siddiqui, Senior Director Estate Imtiaz Abro, Director Land Tariq Siddiqui, Director Estate Imran Siddiqui and other officers were also present on the occasion.
The administrator said that due to the pressure of continuous increase in the population of Karachi, the markets built on drains had to be removed. The KMC anti-encroachment senior director said 164 shops had been demolished in Jubilee Market so far and the rest were in the process of getting demolished.
Members of the delegation said these shops were the only source of employment for those who work there and at least five people were employed in each shop. They lamented that five families were being supported by each of the shops that had been or had to be demolished.
The delegation said employees of those shops were facing financial difficulties so they should be given a place to resume their business as soon as possible.
The KMC administrator said the Jubilee Cloth Market was one of the ancient markets of the KMC where businesses had been going on for a long time and the market had become an important centre for trade.
“There are clear orders of the Supreme Court to remove the shops built on the site, so the work of clearing the drain will continue,” he said, adding that the municipality would at the same time work on the rehabilitation of the affected shopkeepers on a priority basis. “We want these people to be able to work in some way so that they can get rid of financial difficulties.”
He said that in the rehabilitation exercise, it would be ensured that a suitable place was given to the shopkeepers where they could do their businesses permanently. He assured the members of the delegation of all possible cooperation and said the KMC would fulfil all its responsibilities in this regard.