Administrator Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) Laiq Ahmed, while responding to the hardships being faced by displaced shopkeepers whose business premises were razed in the anti-encroachment drive, announced to form a committee comprising KMC and KCCI representatives so that the issues pertaining to relocation of businesses at irrelevant markets, delays in handing over possessions, notices by anti-encroachment department and other issues could be discussed and resolved at the earliest so that the affected businessmen could quickly return to normalcy.
While seeking nominations from KCCI for the proposed committee during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) on Monday, Administrator KMC assured that KMC was trying its best to hand over possessions of the allocated shops to affected shopkeepers as soon as possible.
Chairman Businessmen Group (BMG) & Former President KCCI Zubair Motiwala, Vice Chairman BMG Anjum Nisar, General Secretary BMG AQ Khalil, President KCCI Shariq Vohra, Senior Vice President KCCI Saqib Goodluck, Vice President KCCI Shamsul Islam Khan, Chairman KCCI’s Special Committee for Small Traders Majeed Memon, President Site Association of Industry Abdul Hadi, KCCI Managing Committee Members and a large number of small traders and shopkeepers attended the meeting.
Laiq Ahmed said that despite limited resources and revenue, KMC has been striving hard to improve the road infrastructure of Karachi by carrying out maximum patch work whereas the street lights have also been made operational at 26 roads of the city.
Citing a few examples of public-private partnership, he stressed that civil society and private sector must come forward to join hands with KMC to improve the living environment of Karachi.
He informed that KMC will also be signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with United Nations Development Program (UNDP) which would make Karachi the second city to sign such an MoU as UNDP has signed a similar MoU with Istanbul city only.
Referring to concerns expressed over numerous issues which were falling under the ambit of DMCs, he proposed to summon a grand meeting in which representatives of all DMCs, KMC Officials, KCCI’s representatives and other stakeholders can be invited so that they all could thoroughly discuss and mutually agree on effective strategies for dealing with parking, road cutting and other civic issues particularly those falling outside the dominion of KMC.
He said that the anti-encroachment drive was purely against encroachers and as per orders passed by the honorable Supreme Court of Pakistan while the lease of any property simply cannot be cancelled by KMC in the anti-encroachment drive and all such cases pertaining to cancellation of lease were being submitted at the court of law.
“The anti-encroachment drive is purely against informal businesses which create hurdles in way of formal businesses.”
Laiq Ahmed, while replying to a question raised over unavailability of fire fighting vehicles, informed that although the Fire Fighting Department has sufficient vehicles now but the drivers needed to run these vehicles were unavailable and the available staff was aging who cannot be given the responsibility to drive the newly acquired fire fighting vehicles.
“We are aware of this issue and would add young drivers in the fire department so that this issue could be resolved and the response time in case of any fire incident could be reduced”, he added.
Chairman BMG Zubair Motiwala, in his remarks, offered KMC Administrator that KCCI, being the premier chamber, can give representatives from every single market of the city and also provide volunteers from all the markets who can cooperate and work closely with KMC which would speedily resolve many civic related issues.
President KCCI Shariq Vohra, while welcoming Administrator KMC, pointed out that the infrastructure problem often causes severe traffic jams at some of the busiest roads of Karachi which creates law & order situation as the culprits get a perfect opportunity to easily snatch valuables from commuters stranded in traffic jams.