Karachi Development Authority (KDA) on Monday continued grand anti-encroachment operation in Aaram Baagh and Lighthouse Market with the aid of police and Rangers personnel. KDA expanded the grand anti-encroachment operation against land mafia in the city, with a plan to remove the encroachments in Aaram Baagh and Light House Market after clearing out Saddar Rainbow Center, Empress Market and Kabari market Jahangirabad. Reportedly, owners of shops located in the vicinity of Arambagh and Lighthouse began shifting their wares on Monday after the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) officials issued a warning the day before that all illegally constructed shops in the area would be demolished. There are nearly 300 shops located on the Lighthouse nullah. The affected shopkeepers claimed that the Lighthouse Market dated back to 1952 but was not ‘illegally built’. They further said that they paid rent to KMC through bank deposits every six months. The disgruntled shopkeepers demanded that they be provided alternative venues to set up their ventures. Meanwhile, Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar informed the media that affectees of the anti-encroachment operation would be provided with an alternative location to set up their shops. He further said that a committee had been formed for this purpose. “We do not want to affect anyone’s business and we will not repeat the mistakes of the past,” said the mayor. Mayor Waseem Akhtar had also said that anti-encroachment operation would restore Karachi to its natural and historical beauty. Approximately 2,500 shops in and around Empress Market were demolished in the operation against encroachments during the past two weeks. The operation was launched on the directives of the Supreme Court (SC). According to a report prepared and issued by KMC regarding the anti-encroachment drive in Saddar and its surrounding areas 2,500 illegal shops were razed during the operation and six RCC basement and a two-storey building were also demolished to ‘restore Empress Market’. “480 illegal shops on Sohrab Khattak Road, 150 encroachments on Sarmad Shaheed Road and 450 stalls at Shahrah-e-Iraq were demolished during the drive,” the report added. “Encroachments on Zaibunnisa Street, Magazine Line, Abdullah Haroon Road, Raja Ghazanfar Ali Road and Mir Karam Ali Talpur Road were also removed,” the report read. Published in Daily Times, November 20th 2018.