Pakistan

Hawkers of Karachi: An Unsettled Affair of the City

The mega city of Karachi has been a central zone to economic activities in Pakistan. People from all around the country migrate to Karachi in search of better jobs and resources. Nevertheless, due to increase in population the employment rate of the city has deprived with greater dissatisfaction. Withstanding to this, people switch over to other sectors to earn their livelihood and survive through recession. Over the years there has been a drastic change in population of the city. The overall size of the city has increased and can be compared to that of a country. This is therefore, provoking a rapid increase in numerous encroachments of the city.

The vast majority of markets in the city are informally covered by hawkers, providing booster to economy in market zones. Hawkers are found almost in every street of Karachi, selling different products, fruits and vegetables. They serve the needs of lower income groups who cannot afford formal sector food, garments, electronic goods and other items necessary for their daily use and for accommodating the pressures that consumerism and an urban lifestyle forces on them. Encroachment occur in Karachi not only on the pavement near markets but also on the main streets hindering the traffic and forcing pedestrians to walk on streets.

Over the years, government has been working to defuse hawkers, and this system of informal encroachment but they are unable to do so because they do not have any alternative solution for them to earn their livelihood. Furthermore, it is also hard to remove hawkers because they sell the products to locals for low price, they have a greater compatibility demand in markets as much as shops.

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