President Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) Agha Shahab Ahmed Khan, while expressing deep concerns over the disaster suffered by Karachi due to torrential rainfalls, urged the government to immediately declare Karachi as ‘calamity-hit’ and intensify rescue and relief activities as many areas have been terribly inundated, hundreds of houses, particularly those situated in low-lying areas, have been completely swept away and a huge population remains stranded at the rooftops of their homes because of massive flooding all around their areas.
In a statement issued, Agha Shahab stated that the poor population of Karachi is the worst hit segment of the society as they have lost everything including their homes and all other belongings during the extraordinary torrential rainfall of Tuesday hence, the federal and provincial governments will have to immediately provide relief in shape of financial support and must also provide alternate settlements and food stuffs to all such affectees until their ravaged houses are reconstructed through government’s financial support as it is purely the government’s responsibility to secure properties of the masses hence all the damages caused by natural calamities and the losses suffered by the poor masses have to be fully compensated and borne by the government.
He stressed that the poor segment of society is also equally important which cannot be left alone and stranded under wide-open sky with empty stomachs so the government must devise effective strategies to ensure sufficient food supplies, temporary accommodations and financial support till all their houses are restored and their lives returns to normalcy. “In this regard, the government must utilize available funds from the national exchequer to extend financial support to the rain affectees so that they could rebuild their houses and restore their lives at the earliest”, he added.
President KCCI stated that Chairman Businessmen Group (BMG) & Former President KCCI Siraj Kassam Teli was constantly highlighting the infrastructure issue of Karachi through media statements in which it was rightly being demanded that the task to rebuilt Karachi’s shabby infrastructure has to be given to National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and Frontier Works Organization (FWO) under army’s supervision for the next five years. “The recent spell of torrential rainfalls have proven that the infrastructure of Karachi is in a pathetic condition and Siraj Teli’s demand to engage NDMA and FWO for rebuilding the infrastructure is reasonable and judicious”, he added.
He said, “The politicians can carry on with their politics and we are not concerned but the most serious infrastructure issue of Karachi must not be politicized and ignored. The task to rebuilt infrastructure must immediately be given to NDMA and FWO under the supervision of patriotic armed forces which would certainly provide relief to perturbed Karachiites who have been suffering since the last more than two decades and they continue to face humiliation every day while commuting on the broken, worn-out and almost inexistent streets all over Karachi because of government’s sheer negligence towards this most pressing issues of the city.”
He was of the opinion that the relevant departments in the provincial set up do not have the capacity and capability to undertake the gigantic task of rebuilding Karachi’s infrastructure but fortunately, the NDMA and FWO have the required capacity/ capability including machinery, workforce and expertise to instantly start work on Karachi’s infrastructure development hence, the task of rebuilding infrastructure including sewerage lines, water and electricity distribution network, reconstruction of roads and other civic facilities etc. must immediately be given to NDMA and FWO which would certainly yield positive results and provide the desperately needed relief to Karachiites.
He hoped that the by realizing the miseries and hardships being suffered by Karachiites during the recent rainfalls and keeping in view the poor infrastructure of Karachi, the Federal and Provincial Government’s would pay heed to business community’s reasonable demand to hand over the infrastructure rebuilding task to NDMA and FWO and release sufficient funds for this giant task so that the development work begins at the earliest and continues without any interruption.