KCCI urges govt to initiate road repairs on priority

KARACHI:President Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Agha Shahab Ahmed Khan has urged the Sindh government to release special funds on top priority and issue necessary directives to the concerned departments to quickly commence the repair, reconstruction and patch-work of all the dilapidated and wrecked roads across the city which were in a really bad shape due to recent spell of heavy rainfalls.

In a statement issued, Agha Shahab stated that although the government has been striving hard and taking steps to clear the massive garbage from the city and the situation was gradually improving but they must equally pay attention to the dilapidated road infrastructure of Karachi where commuting was worsening day by day at almost all the streets while the situation was much worse at the industrial zones, particularly the Site industrial area.

While stressing the need to use high-quality material in road construction so that they could last long particularly during harsh weather conditions, he pointed out that it has been observed at various locations that the concerned departments responsible for assembling/ constructing the sewerage lines usually places the manholes of sewerage lines right in front of any industry or factory, which get damaged immediately due to movement of heavy vehicles and then the factory owners are accused of the damages. Hence, they must not put these manholes in front of factory gates and place them to any other suitable and safer location, he added.

He said that dilapidated road infrastructure was not just a cause of nuisance for the public who continue to suffer for hours on the streets of Karachi due to frequent traffic jams and slow movement of vehicles on these wrecked roads but also for the business and industrial community whose shipments suffer delays and sometimes damages during transit to ports, warehouses and the local wholesale and retail markets. “A rise in street crimes has also been witnessed nowadays particularly at those locations from where traffic jams were frequently being reported as criminals find it a perfect opportunity to loot the stuck up commuters and easily flee from the crime scene without any fear of getting apprehended”, he added.

Excluding Shahrah-e-Faisal and a few roads at some of the cantonment areas in the city, the rest of all other streets and lanes were in a pathetic condition nowadays. “It is really worrisome that more than a week has passed so far since the last rainfall struck Karachi yet we don’t see any repair work going on in any area despite the fact that the city underwent serious urban flooding in which many roads were terribly damaged while some of them have been completely wiped out”, he added.

Expressing deep concerns over worsening standard of living in Karachi, he said that although the federal and provincial governments have been acknowledging Karachi’s massive revenue contribution of more than 70 percent to the national exchequer and 95 percent to Sindh Revenue Board but it was really disappointing that they (the Federal and Provincial Governments) were not even spending 5 percent of what was being contributed by Karachi which still remains the financial, economical, industrial and commercial hub of the country despite so many odds and conspiracies.

“We can contribute even more but the government must give special attention to Karachi. We are not demanding to utilize the entire revenue on Karachi only but the city must get a fair share from federal and provincial pools. Both the governments will have to devise effective strategies to provide some relief to the citizens and business and industrial community who are already overburdened because of inflation, poverty, joblessness, rising cost of doing business, stagnant business acidity, water, electricity and gas shortages along with a host of many other civic issues”, he added.