‘Not a single issue addressed’ | The Express Tribune


KARACHI:

Despite the formation of a coordination committee two months ago and assurances from the caretaker government, business leaders in Hyderabad lament that not a single issue affecting the city’s business community has been addressed.

They highlight that Site Hyderabad, facing neglect for over two decades, is grappling with numerous issues affecting industrialists and traders. They express frustration, citing civil bureaucracy as more of a hindrance than help. However, they acknowledge the commendable efforts of Caretaker Sindh Chief Minister Justice (retd) Maqbool Baqar and his team, including Sindh’s Caretaker Minister for Industries and Commerce Mohammad Younus Dagha, Sindh’s caretaker Local Government Minister Mobin Jumani, and Sindh Industries and Commerce Secretary Abdul Rasheed Solangi.

On the directive of Sindh’s industry minister, the Coordination Committee was formed two months ago, and two meetings were held. However, business leaders express disappointment as no tangible progress has been observed so far.

Speaking to The Express Tribune, they criticised the consecutive elected governments over the past two decades for their failure to address problems. In contrast, they acknowledge the caretaker setup as more effective for forming committees and conducting meetings to address pending issues.

Hyderabad Chamber of Small Traders and Small Industry (HCSTSI), President, Muhammad Farooq Shaikhani, pointed out that the last elected government of Sindh, led by former chief minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, approved Rs1.1 billion to restore the damaged infrastructure of SITE Hyderabad. This decision was made in response to a fair demand from the entire business community of Hyderabad district. He urged the caretaker chief minister of Sindh to bring up this matter in the upcoming cabinet meeting for prompt release of the funds to resolve the longstanding issue of poor infrastructure.

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He expressed dismay that despite clear instructions from the Sindh chief minister, no technical report has been submitted for the storm and sewage nullah on Auto Bhan Road in Latifabad, known for its commercial activities. Additionally, he highlighted the need for demarcation of 300 acres of land allotted in 2007, for which the cost has already been paid by industrialists.

Concerns are raised about unchecked encroachment in the industrial area of Hyderabad, covering 1,264 acres with approximately 650 industries. He mentioned that a 75-year-old graveyard was established in Tando Yousuf when Hyderabad’s population was 600,000, and now it has surged to 3.5 million. In 1999, 220 acres of land in the Ganju Takkar area were allocated for a graveyard, but unfortunately, no developmental activities, including the construction of a boundary wall, mosque, morgue, and other necessary facilities, have been undertaken. The stakeholders urged that action against the land grabbers were overdue.

Amir Shahab, Chairman of Hyderabad Site Association of Trade and Industry Works Committee, described the terribly dilapidated infrastructure of SITE Hyderabad as a nightmare, where loaded trailers and trucks often overturn due to inadequate infrastructure. He points out the lack of proper street lights, contributing to rising street crimes after sunset.

Shahab pleaded for the implementation of the Express Feeder to ensure uninterrupted power supply to small industries, addressing the challenges posed by prolonged power load shedding. He urged Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (HESCO) to promptly address power issues affecting industrial production and causing delays in fulfilling export orders.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 3rd, 2024.

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1: https://tribune.com.pk/story/2452012/not-a-single-issue-addressed

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