Illegal makeshift cattle markets spring up in city
14 October, 2013
KARACHI: As Eidul Azha is just round the corner, a number of illegal and unauthorised makeshift cattle markets have mushroomed across the city - posing serious health risks to the people as well as disturbance in traffic flow.
Despite of a ban having been imposed by the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), illegal markets are on a rise. Yet, the law enforcement agencies do not seem to take action.
"I come home from my office in Dalmia, and due to these markets set up in between, I face traffic jams and road blocks," said Danish Ali, a resident of Gulistan-e-Jauhar. "My house is hardly five minutes away from Dalmia; however, these days, it takes me more than 15 minutes. Animals can be seen lying and munching their feed everywhere."
In Karachi, more than 150 illegal markets have been set up in Shah Faisal Colony, Akhtar Colony, Banaras, Liaquatabad, Essa Nagri, Gulberg, Orangi Town, Korangi, Jauhar Complex, Landhi, FB Area, Gulistan-e-Johar, Safari Park, University Road, Dalmia Road, Burns Road, North Nazimabad, Mehmoodabad, Safoora Chowrangi, and Gadap Town among others. In all these areas, these makeshift arrangements are allegedly under the patronage of police, local administration and political parties.
A roadside vendor in Gulshan-e-Iqbal informed our sources of paying Rs 25,000 to the local police station, after which he was allotted a space to keep his animals, along with a guarantee of not getting disturbed by any authority.
"Yesterday I was asked to move from here, temporarily, as some higher authority was on an inspection round," said the trader. "We are here because it is convenient for the buyers to come here rather than going to the Super Highway. That is too far."
Although electricity and water is provided to them, they are being charged for it, above the lump sump amount taken by the police officials. "We get our power supply from a nearby residential unit on Rs 200 per day," informed the vendor.
Defending his stance of staying in middle of the city, and not going to the Super Highway market, he said he had only a few animals, and travel costs were too high this time. "I only have 25 animals; we need a lot more to attract customers in the main market," he said.
Despite being against the law, customers too, find these makeshift arrangements more suitable in contrast to the central marketplace at Super Highway.
"I know the market is illegal but since it's in my neighbourhood only; it's apt for me," he said. "Why should I go all the way to Super Highway for just one small goat?"
He was also critical about the price difference. "I've heard the animals there are overpriced. Moreover, authorities are also charging extra in the name of 'official charges'," he said.
"It is the duty of law enforcement agencies to remove these Bakra Peeris, not mine," asserted Raza.
KMC under scrutiny: In this regards, the Sindh High Court issued notices to commissioner Karachi and Traffic DIG, after hearing a petition seeking action against these makeshift cattle markets burgeoning all over the metropolis. The petitioner sought their removal for benefit of the citizens.
In this regard, on contact, Commissioner Karachi Shoaib Siddiqui informed that the Home Department had imposed Section-144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, directing the SHOs concerned not to allow anyone to set up such markets in their localities, without prior approval.
"This is also the responsibility of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) Land Department, but unfortunately, they haven't been successful in their action," he said. "We received a number of complaints; however, it is difficult to remove all the establishments as traders come again after a few hours."
Unauthorised markets are here since many years, and full cooperation from police and other authorities is needed for their complete removal, added Siddiqui.