KARACHI: District administration decided to relocate shopkeepers affected by the ongoing anti-encroachment to other commercial sites of Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC).A meeting, presided over by Karachi commissioner, finalised rehabilitation plan for shopkeepers from Empress Market and its vicinity through a balloting process for traders. Metropolitan Commissioner Saif-ur-Rehman gave a detailed briefing regarding relocation efforts to the meeting. He said that alternative shops would be provided to the businessmen affected by the drive according to the location and size of their former shops. A detailed discussion was held regarding alternative markets and locations and a plan was finalised. The meeting was also informed that all details of affectees had been collected and balloting would be held soon.Restoration of Empress Market as a historical heritage was also reviewed in detail and it was decided that the authorities would coordinate with Sindh Culture Department for implementation of the plan. Meanwhile, KMC continued to raze encroachments on Thursday. The corporation demolished encroachments on footpaths and drains in Khori Garden, Plastic Market and Denso Hall and Shirin Jinnah Colony and a bus station.In district East, action was taken in Jamshed Town on Nishter Road from Garden signal to Lasbela Chowrangi. Heavy machinery was used to raze the encroachments. In Khori Garden and Denso Hall areas anti-encroachments teams removed encroachments which were re-established by traders and warned them to refrain from encroaching again. Moreover, an anti-encroachment operation was conducted to remove encroachments from the oil terminal at Shirin Jinnah Colony. Saif-ur-Rehman said that impartial action against encroachments at different locations in city was being taken without any break. He confirmed that action had been initiated at oil terminal.He said that shopkeepers and traders should ensure that they are not encroaching on city footpaths, drains and parks. He further said that any advertisement boards affixed on pavements lining shops would be removed immediately. “Footpaths are for people. They should not be blocked by traders,” he said.Commissioner Iftikhar Shalwani, Mayor Wasim Akhtar, special assistant to Sindh CM Waqar Mehdi, Traffic DIG Javed Ali Mehar, Culture Department director general Manzoor Ahmed, senior director Masood Alam, Land director Bashir Siddiqui, South SSP and other relevant officials were present during the meeting.Published in Daily Times, December 14th 2018.