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December 27, 2020

KCCI wants voice in public utilities for transformation plan

Business

December 27, 2020

KARACHI: Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) wants its representation in the boards of public utilities, port authorities and civil administration to advise workable solutions to chronic physical and infrastructure problems of the industrial city.

Zubair Motiwala, chairman of Businessmen Group said all the infrastructure development projects under the Karachi transformation plan must be prioritised while a committee with all stakeholders on board has to be formed to review the progress and quality of work.

“Otherwise, many of these projects may not see daylight and we fear that the completed projects will be of low-quality and cannot sustain torrential rainfall as seen in the past when rainfalls completely destroyed the city’s infrastructure,” Motiwala said in a statement. KCCI’s representatives should be included on the boards of K-Electric, Sui Southern Gas Company, Port Qasim Authority, terminal operators, city government and all other institutions, which will surely help in improving the delivery of services, he said.

Motiwala said the city accounts for 54 percent of the country’s total exports, 68 percent plus in the Federal Board of Revenue’s collections and more than 90 percent to the tax collection of Sindh Revenue Board.

“Due attentions has not been given to Karachi compared to the kind of delivery by this city,” he said. “If this country is brought out of the critical condition and an enabling and conducive working atmosphere is provided, I can assure that Karachi’s 54 percent exports can be converted into 75 percent. Similarly, the tax collection will also rise at the same pace and this will actually be the savior for the economy of Pakistan.”

Although Karachi transformation plan of Rs739 billion covers some desperately needed projects, the extension of Lyari Expressway and Northern bypass must also be included to help in effectively dealing with the frequent traffic congestion issues. Both the projects should start from within the port premises.

Important projects including complete reconstruction of all roads, sewerage system, storm water drainage network, uninterrupted water supply to residential and industrial consumers, and infrastructure development of industrial areas must be prioritised, Motiwala said. Water is the first and foremost requirement and a matter of grave concern for the city as freshwater is discharged into the sea. “The most important project for Karachi is K-IV which must be taken up on top priority and KCCI would be more than happy to be part of this project at any and every level. Due to water scarcity, industries are feared to shut down,” he said.

Lyari Expressway, which is currently incapable of bearing the burden of heavy traffic, has to be reinforced and made strong enough to enable heavy vehicles to use the essential artery round-the-clock. The Lyari Expressway, which is around three kilometers away from Karachi Port and the Northern Bypass which is also too far from the port, cause severe traffic jams at