Acting President Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Khurram Shahzad, while referring to the ongoing anti-encroachment drive across the city under the orders passed by the Honorable Supreme Court of Pakistan, has said that Karachi city faces numerous other issues as well including the infrastructure issue, severe traffic jams, cleanliness problems, parking mafia activities, water shortages, sewerage and other such issues which must also be resolved with same zeal and given similar attention as seen in case of ongoing anti-encroachment drive.
In a statement issued, President KCCI pointed out that the honorable Supreme Court of Pakistan has given directives to the local administration from to time to efficiently deal with many of these issues but unfortunately, these major issues were never given such special attention which was the basic reason why the standard of living of Karachiites continues to deteriorate.
He stressed that although Sindh Minister for Local Government Saeed Ghani and Mayor Karachi Waseem Akhter, in a recent joint press conference, assured to provide alternative places to genuine affectees of anti-encroachment drive but this has to be done on top priority basis as it was a question of daily bread and butter for thousands of families who became jobless as their shops have been completely flattened and they have no other source of income.
He further suggested that a Committee should be formed at the earliest which must comprise of representatives from Local Government Ministry, KMC and KCCI so that the entire procedure for rehabilitation of the genuine affectees could be defined in consultation with all stakeholders and the rehabilitation of genuine affectees takes place smoothly without any complaint.
Referring to anti-encroachment operation in which all the sunshades, billboards, Air conditioner outers and generators etc. are also being removed, he said that KMC must ensure that the Honorable Supreme Court’s order was not being misused and it was being implemented in letter and spirit whereas KMC should also issue a precise notice in which at least three days of leniency period should be given to shopkeepers as they have been regularly submitting fees to relevant DMCs since past many years for these installations outside their shop premises. “Issuing such a notice would certainly save many shopkeepers from suffering any kind of loss caused by heavy machinery being used to extract sunshades and billboards etc.”, he added.
He was of the opinion that Karachi, being the financial, industrial and commercial hub of the country, deserves a better treatment and all issues of the metropolitan city must be timely resolved so that the city is brought at par with other cities around the world. “However, the government, on the other hand, must also realize the hardships being suffered by the genuine affectees and should make sure that the poor segment of society is not deprived from their daily bread and butter”, he said.