KARACHI: The plan to renovate the Empress Market, Saddar and make its surroundings pedestrian friendly has hit snags, and the administration so far has failed to remove illegal structures and encroachments from the area. The Empress Market is a famous marketplace situated in the Saddar Town. This important British Raj building was constructed between 1884 and 1889 and named to commemorate Queen Victoria, Empress of India. For years this important heritage building was in shambles and the previous Governor of Sindh had ordered its renovation. Originally it was planned to reroute all minibus routes from Saddar area, demolish illegally constructed shops and shanty markets around the Empress Market Building and ban entry of all sorts of vehicles in the area, making it exclusive pedestrian zone. However, the administration has neither completed the Saddar bus rerouting project, nor removed encroachments and illegal structure and nor banned the entry of vehicles in this proposed pedestrian friendly area. However, the citizens have appealed to the concerned quarters, especially the Governor House, to order a probe into delay in Empress Market renovation and related uplift projects of Saddar Karachi on priority basis. Published in Daily Times, July 25th 2017.