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Over 100 shops demolished in fruit, vegetable market

Over 100 shops demolished in fruit, vegetable market

PESHAWAR: In a big midnight operation against encroachments, the district administration demolished over 100 shops and kiosks in the old Panj Tirth Fruit Market near Shahi Bagh in the wee hours of Wednesday.

During the operation two people were arrested for unsealing their shops. The operation continued till morning where the employees of Municipal Corporation Peshawar were accompanied by a heavy contingent of police. The area was cordoned off and movement of irrelevant people restricted by stretching a razor wire.

Deputy Commissioner, Peshawar, Riaz Khan Mehsud and Peshawar Municipal Corporation administrator Zafar Ali Shah supervised the drive. They said that land grabbers had occupied the 115-year-old fruit market and created hurdles in movement of the people. They said that the encroachers had also been polluting environment and they used to throw garbage on the roads and drains.

The officials said that effective steps would be taken to stop encroachments in future and a police post would also be set up in the area.

Meanwhile, the district administration claimed to have arrested 84 people involved in selling meat on meatless day on Wednesday. The vendors and managers of restaurants were arrested during raids in various areas, including Charsadda Road, University Road, Hayatabad, Bara Gate, GT Road, Dalazak Road, and in the old city.

However, the affected shopkeepers complained that they were not given notices and the administration stormed the area all of a sudden. Mohammad Iqbal and other traders told media persons that the operation had caused them heavy financial losses. “We repeatedly requested the administration to allow us shift the fresh fruits and vegetables but to no avail,” they claimed.

In Charsadda, the fruit and vegetable venders and traders alliance blocked Parang road and staged a sit-in in front of the AC office in protest against what they called unjust action against them in the garb of anti-encroachment drive.

The venders also announced a three-day strike, and traders Ittehad said they would set up a protest camp against the action by the assistant commissioner and municipal committee officials.

Published in Dawn, August 27th, 2015

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