The ongoing anti-encroachment drive by Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) is set to move towards the decades old book markets of the country, popularly known as Urdu Bazaar.

The KMC administration has served notices on the shopkeepers to vacate their stalls within three days before they are razed by the demolition teams.

The deadline ends on Tuesday midnight.

A protest was also staged in the main market led by the Urdu Bazaar Market Association and the Booksellers Association, demanding that the shops in Bazaar should not be razed as they hold the status of cultural heritage.

The protesters were of the view that their shops had been located in Urdu Bazaar for decades, and called for an end to the illegal action against their businesses.

They were of the view that they set up their business in a legal manner and it was not an encroachment.

However, KMC officials say that the Urdu Bazaar was formed over a drain and they asked the shopkeepers to vacate the place in three days.

In a recent case, the Sindh High Court on Dec 4 had issued a stay order on a petition filed by residents of Garden East against razing of a building in the area.

The anti-encroachment team of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) was set to demolish a building in the Garden East area.

However, residents of the building approached the SHC seeking to stop KMC machinery from their ‘illegal action.’

The Supreme Court on October 27 had directed Mayor Karachi, Wasim Akhtar, to remove all encroachments from the city’s amenity plots and pavements with the help of law enforcement agencies, and granted a 15-day deadline to city authorities for compliance of its orders.