Tuesday Aug 11, 2020
KARACHI: An anti-encroachment drive to remove billboards from the metropolis has been expedited, with all billboards removed from Saddar's Mobile Market after the government swung into action following orders from the Supreme Court.
The anti-encroachment operation was carried out with the help of a crane and gas welding tools to cut the billboards from their frames. During the process, a building caught fire, damaging goods kept in an office on the second floor of the building. Chairman of Electronics Dealers Association Gulfam Minhaj claimed that 40% of the goods kept in the office were destroyed in the fire.
Speaking to Geo News, Assistant Commissioner President Asif Raja said that not only the advertisements, but also the frames of the billboards would be removed as per court orders.
Director Anti-Encroachment Bashir Siddiqui said that the machinery for the operation had been provided by the District Municipal Corporation (DMC) South, which left after the fire incident in the building.
He added that the commissioner Karachi will decide whether there will be a case against those who put up illegal billboards or not.
A day earlier, the Supreme Court had issued orders for the removal of billboards from the city due to the various health hazards they pose and had directed Commissioner Karachi Iftikhar Shalwani to submit a report on the matter.
“The entire city is full of billboards,” Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed had said, adding that they can cause severe damage. The observation came after a spell of heavy rains and gusty winds wreaked havoc in the city.
“Let us do an inquiry on the past five years to see who installed these billboards,” Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan had remarked.
“There are so many billboards that airflow has been restricted. This is a violation of [building] laws,” the chief justice had said.