Karachi: Chairman Businessmen Group (BMG) and Former President Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Siraj Kassam Teli has said that the entire country including the Federal and Provincial Governments, Chief of the Army Staff, Corps Commander, Trade Associations/ Chambers and the Public are now focused on his legitimate demand to outsource Karachi’s infrastructure rebuilding task to National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and Frontier Works Organizations (FWO) which is good and ‘I am happy to see that’. However, instead of arguing, planning or forming committees, this gigantic task must straightaway be given to NDMA and FWO who have the capacity and capability to accomplish it within the next three to four years.

In a statement issued, Siraj Teli said, “Throughout last month, I constantly demanded through media to rebuilt Karachi’s infrastructure which has to be outsourced to NDMA and FWO under army’s supervision and now everyone is also repeating and talking about the same but it has to be ensured that Karachi’s infrastructure rebuilding task do not falls prey to politics. Hence, I would like to request everyone to put their politics aside and the only priority should be to develop Karachi’s infrastructure and this should be above politics.”

He pointed out that the country’s affairs are mostly run from the revenue being generated from Karachi, which contributes more than 70 percent to the national exchequer and around 95 percent to the provincial kitty. If the infrastructure of the city is not reconstructed and improved in the next three to four years, it would terribly affect government’s revenue. “How the government is going to run the affairs if Karachi’s infrastructure issue is ignored as the revenue generated by Karachi is utilized for running the entire country”, he asked, adding that it is in everyone’s interest including the federal and provincial governments, the armed forces, business and industrial community and the masses that Karachi’s dilapidated infrastructure must be rebuilt on top priority.

Siraj Teli said, “Keeping in view the capability, capacity, workforce, equipment, expertise and resources available with NDMA and FWO who have constructed some of the finest roads and motorways all over the country, I am confident that it is these two institutions who can save Karachi by rebuilding its infrastructure. If Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah can give the task of constructing 10 underpasses and flyovers en-route Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) to FWO, then why not giving the entire task of rebuilding Karachi’s infrastructure to the said institution.

He suggested that NDMA and FWO should be given the responsibility to reconstruct sewerage lines, rainwater drains, roads specifically the internal roads in all the areas of Karachi as it has been observed that the condition of all the internal roads is really awful and these internal roads either situated in any industrial zone or connected even with Shahrah-e-Faisal have worsened to such an extent that even commuting on a jeep has become impossible of all these roads. Moreover, the task to improve the water distribution network must also be given to NDMA and FWO as no water for Karachiites is available in pipeline and they are compelled to purchase water from tanker mafia.

Referring to massive electricity and gas load shedding, Siraj Teli underscored that in order to provide relief to the poor masses and the perturbed business and industrial community, the government will have to put an end to KE’s monopoly and start negotiations with other parties as KE’s agreement is going to expire in 2023 and the next agreement must be devised in such a manner that it brings an end to KE’s monopoly and encourages other players to easily enter the power generation and distribution sector.

Exorbitant electricity and gas tariffs have not only intensified the hardships for business and industrial community by raising the cost of doing business but have also terribly affected the poor masses. Hence, it is the need of the hour to trigger competition in this sector which would certainly ensure uninterrupted gas and electricity supply to Karachiites at reasonable rates.