Karachi Metropolitan Corporation has demolished 187 dastarkhawans and other roadside installations of welfare organisations from the city’s six districts in its week-long anti-encroachment drive.
It started from District Central on June 11. KMC removed 60 dastarkhawans and other roadside installations from Golimar, North Nazimabad, Five Star Chowrangi, Sakhi Hasan, Nagan Chowrangi and Power House.
In District East, another 35 setups were demolished from Teen Hatti, Numaish Chowrangi, New Town, Hasan Square, Gulshan Chowrangi and Sharae Faisal while 40 were razed in District Korangi from Bilal Chowrangi, Godown Chowrangi, Mehran Chowrangi, Qayyumabad, Korangi Industrial Area, Singer Chowrangi, Murtaza Chowrangi and Star Gate.
KMC demolished 15 installations of welfare organisations in District Malir and seven from District West. It included the Kala Board link road of the National Highway, Mauripur Road and Hawke’s Bay area.
Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar says these welfare groups, particularly Edhi and Chhipa, have made great contributions in serving humanity by providing food and other facilities to the poor. He said this is a prime responsibility of the government, but it has failed to do so.
“We are complying with the orders of the Supreme Court, but the removal of footpath ambulances is not in favour of the masses. These ambulances were easily accessible in times of an emergency,” he said.
Even though Edhi’s setups were also demolished, Edhi Foundation Chairperson Faisal Edhi says he is not in favour of roadside dastarkhawans.
He said the money being used to feed the poor for free twice a day should instead be used to provide the same people skills training so they can earn their own their own bread and butter.
Faisal said it is the government’s responsibility to take care of the underprivileged and make centres where they can get skills training.
Commenting over the disturbance of the ambulance service, Faisal said, “if the state does not want to provide relief to the masses, what can we?”
He said people are facing tremendous difficulties in getting ambulances in their areas in times of need after KMC’s drive.
Residents now have to call Edhi Foundation offices after which the ambulances leave for them. This causes delay.