President Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) M. Shariq Vohra, while expressing deep concerns over a massive traffic jam on Port Qasim Road, stated that the Karachi Chamber started receiving dozens of complaints from its members since Thursday morning about the said severe traffic jam due to road carpeting which was initiated without the provision of alternate route and deployment of extra traffic police officials that resulted in disturbing the port operations by completely blocking all the import and export bound consignments.
“To get this serious issue resolved, we tried to contact Chairman PQA Rear Admiral (Retd.) Syed Hassan Nasir Shah but we were told by his PA that Chairman PQA is not available and busy in a meeting. It is worrisome that Chairman PQA not even bothered to callback the President of the largest Chamber of Pakistan which is beyond our expectations as being the head of an important institution, it is the Chairman’s prime responsibility to promptly respond to the pleas of the business & industrial community”, Shariq Vohra said in a statement issued.
He said that unfortunately, the development work of Port Qasim Road was initiated without taking KCCI and Bin Qasim Association of Trade & Industry (BQATI) into confidence which further worsened the situation as the business community was unaware of the development work hence, all the consignments were scheduled as per routine. “If PQA had informed KCCI or BQATI earlier about the planned road carpeting on Thursday, we would have certainly disseminated the info amongst businessmen and industrialists so that they could accordingly reschedule their consignments on that particular day when the road carpeting was scheduled. This, if done, would have certainly eased the traffic flow and saved hundreds of containers from getting completely stuck up either at the national highway or at the Port Qasim.”
He said that the Karachi Chamber fully supports all types of development works being carried out in the city for improving the infrastructure. Still, the concerned authorities must realize that such development work must not be carried out at the cost of giving losses to the business community. Such development work could be done either during off-peak hours or during the holiday.
President KCCI hoped that the concerned department would speed up the road carpeting work to reinstate smooth flow traffic flow at Port Qasim at the earliest and also devise adequate strategies for traffic diversions to minimize the chances of traffic deadlocks. He also stressed the need for close coordination between KCCI, PQA, BQATI and traffic police department to avoid such unpleasant incidents in future.