Karachi, Gross negligence by several authorities has led to rampant encroachments around the Karachi-Hyderabad M-9 Motorway and the starting point of the Lyari Expressway, causing significant traffic disruptions. Altaf Shakoor, Chairman of the Pasban Democratic Party (PDP), shed light on the situation on Sunday, urging immediate remedial actions by the authorities.
According to a news release by Pasban Democratic Party (PDP), Shakoor expressed concerns over the state of the M-9 area at Suhrab Goth, deeming it a clear indication of the failure of the National Highway Authority (NHA), motorway police, Karachi Municipal Corporation (KMC), and local traffic police. Describing this area as the entryway to Karachi, he emphasized its significance in representing the megacity. Contrarily, he said, the location has become a chaotic hub of encroachments including makeshift shelters, illegal mechanic shops, unauthorized bus terminals, and numerous stalls. Notably, Shakoor also pointed out the traffic police’s occupation of a vast tract of land near the onset of the Lyari Expressway.
Highlighting previous interventions, Shakoor mentioned the Sindh High Court’s directive a few years ago to clear encroachments at Suhrab Goth. Unfortunately, he said, the government departments involved blatantly disregarded the court’s orders. The evidence of their inaction remains visible along the M-9 corridor from Suhrab Goth to the Jamali Bridge, now overrun by transporters, vendors, and various illegal structures.
Contrary to the intended orderly appearance of this major gateway, the scene, especially during peak hours, is one of chaos, with countless vehicles trapped in congestion. Although traffic police personnel are stationed in the area, their primary concern, Shakoor criticized, appears to be bribery rather than traffic management. Additionally, he noted the apparent hesitancy of the anti-encroachment department to address the situation, suggesting that the area appears off-limits to law enforcement and city officials. District government officers, too, despite the clear SHC directive, seem indifferent to the escalating issue.
Shakoor also highlighted the incomplete sideline roads intended for non-motorway traffic. The main M-9 Motorway, as a result, witnesses a mix of traffic, including slow-moving donkey carts, further exemplifying the negligence of traffic police and NHA.
Concluding his remarks, Altaf Shakoor implored the interim chief minister Justice Maqbool Baqar and the chairman of the National Highway Authority (NHA) to personally intervene. He emphasized the need to permanently remove all encroachments flanking the M-9 and to ensure that they do not reappear shortly after any anti-encroachment initiatives.