KARACHI  -  Sindh Governor Imran Ismail on Saturday formed the Governor-Karachi Chamber Liaison Committee to address the issues being faced by businessmen and industrialists of Karachi.

Speaking at a meeting during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Imran Ismail said, “The Terms of Reference (TORs) for this Committee will be finalised in consultation with the Karachi Chamber. Presidents of all other trade bodies will also be given representation in the committee, which I will head. I assure you that I will present all the messages of Karachi’s business community to the president, prime minister and the federal finance minister.”

Chairman of the Businessmen Group and former president of KCCI Siraj Kassam Teli, BMG Vice Chairmen Tahir Khaliq and Anjum Nisar, President of KCCI Junaid Esmail Makda, Senior Vice President Khurram Shahzad, Vice President Asif Sheikh Javaid and others, including KCCI Managing Committee members, were also present at the meeting.

Governor Imran Ismail stated that the government had completed planning for revival of the Karachi Circular Railway project and work on this project would start soon. “Besides KCR project, a local train service, which was providing travelling facility via train from Cantonment Station to Landhi Station in the past, will also be immediately restored,” he added.

To deal with fire incidents in Karachi, he said that a tender for acquisition of fire-tenders had already been floated and it would close in next 10 days whereas the required funds had been allocated, as it was really essential for Karachi to have sufficient fire-tenders. “Out of these fire tenders, a fire tender shall be dedicated to KCCI and also to Site Association so that these could promptly respond to any fire breaking out in any nearby building near offices of both trade bodies,” he said.

While referring to Northern Bypass, the governor informed that this important project was being expanded from single lane to six lanes while Lyari Bypass was also being reinforced so that it becomes capable enough to handle the huge container traffic coming out of Karachi Port which could easily exit to Super Highway via Lyari Bypass.

He said that the government plans to establish more water treatment plants to cater to the demand of industries in Karachi while a desalination plant was also being established at Karachi Port. “We are trying to introduce reforms in Sindh Police with a view to improve policing”, he added.

Referring to numerous complaints pertaining to harassment by FIA, Imran Ismail said, “We absolutely have no such policy to allow FIA to open those cases in which individuals have availed the Amnesty Scheme. Any such case of harassment can be forwarded to Governor House and we will stop FIA as the Amnesty Scheme is fully protected by law.”

Speaking on the occasion, Chairman Businessmen Group and Former President KCCI Siraj Kassam Teli, expressed deep concerns over the poor infrastructure of Karachi. He said Karachi has suffered a lot of pain and has received step motherly treatment during PPP and PML-N’s regimes. The same must not repeat during PTI’s tenure.

“We are not demanding that the entire revenue being generated by this city should be spent on Karachi only but the city must get its due share. It was unfortunate that funds allocated for Karachi under NFC Award were not being fully utilized and they disappear somewhere yet the city continues to contribute the highest revenue to the national exchequer,” said Siraj Teli

Highlighting Imran Khan’s last meeting with KCCI on July 22 in Karachi, Chairman BMG stated that during the said meeting, Imran Khan was urged to fulfill all his commitments after assuming charge as Prime Minister otherwise it would result in creating a painful situation. In this regard, he requested Imran Ismail to ask Prime Minister to honor his first and foremost commitment to visit Karachi Chamber as he has assumed charge as the Prime Minister.

Earlier, President of KCCI Junaid Esmail Makda, in his welcome address stressed that Karachi must get additional 650MGD water from the Indus River System Authority (IRSA) in order to minimize the grievances being suffered by Karachiites due to water shortages.

“The federal and provincial governments have allocated funds for construction of five Effluent Water Treatment Plants in Industrial Zones of Karachi but unfortunately, the construction work has not begun so far which is really worrisome”, he said and advised Governor Sindh to use his office so that construction work for these Treatment Plants commences at the earliest.

He said that law and order situation has improved in Karachi to a large extent but street crimes are on the rise again due to serious shortcomings in the police department.

 In this regard, a realistic strategy has to be defined jointly by the Sindh Government and the Federation so that the menace of street crime could be dealt with an iron hand, he added.