KARACHI (Dunya News) – In Karachi, during the month of Ramazan, the flow of traffic is impeded by an upsurge in the number of roadside stalls and encroachments. More than 1 lakh stalls hinder the movement of people and goods across the port city.
The number of stalls increases particularly in the month of Ramazan due to an increase in the sale of fruits. Interestingly, for one to place his stall in the public without inviting the wrath of authorities, they have to pay protection or bribe every day. According to Dunya News, the amount collected from every stall owner is Rs 150. Thus, the total amount collected from stalls and encroachments across the city amounts to Rs 1.5 crore per day.
These stalls hamper the movement of people and are a major cause of traffic jams in areas such as Clifton, Bahadurabad, North Nazimabad, Liaqatabad, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Tariq Road.
According to the stall owners interviewed, the bribe goes to the police and Karachi Metropolitan Corporation. The one who collects money from the stall owners is called a beater. Every area has its own beater, who is responsible for the collection of bribe from stall owners and encroachers of his area and passing the money on to higher officials.
It is not true that people are unaware about this network of bribery and extortion. Government officials and police are privy to this practice as they are themselves involved in this. If any honest official tries to initiate an inquiry or take action regarding this matter, certain elements within the authorities obstruct the process by launching an inquiry against the said official.