KARACHI - Around 400 industrial units in the SITE Super Highway Industrial area are on the verge of closure due to the water crisis, which has aggravated over the last one month.

“This imminent threat will not just halt industrial activity in the area, but also affect 100,000 workers associated with our industrial units. God forbid, if such a large workforce is rendered jobless, it will simply create a law and order situation in the city,” said President of SITE Super Highway Association of Industry Dr Sheikh Kaiser Waheed Mangoon in a press statement.

Dr Kaiser stated that the present gloomy situation persisting in this industrial area negated all tall claims of provincial and federal authorities responsible for promoting industrialization and trade in Karachi after restoration of law and order in the city.

“Our water supply is virtually disconnected for no fault of ours as we duly paid our water dues to SITE Limited. It is SITE Limited, which didn’t pass onto the same charges to the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board, which in turn curtailed our water supply,” said the SITE Super Highway Association president.

“The situation that SITE (Sindh Industrial Trading Estate) Limited is not paying water charges of our industries to the KWSB shows well that there is some serious transparency issue in fiscal affairs of the SITE where embezzlement or misappropriation is being committed at the very cost of survival of industrial units in the city,” said Dr Kaiser.

He said that industrial units related to textiles, pharmaceuticals, steel and food manufacturing and similar other sectors in the SITE Super Highway could not survive or continue with their normal operations with curtailed or no water supply in the area. “Already 50 industrial units in our area have shut their operations and more would follow the suit if the present sorry state of affairs persists,” he said.

“The monthly water requirement of SITE Super Highway stands at 15,000,000 gallons and against it we are virtually getting nothing and that is like an imminent and serious threat we have been facing and every responsible authority should now step in to avert this disaster,” said Dr Kaiser.

He appealed to the Sindh governor, chief minister, local government minister, industries and commerce minister and Karachi’s commissioner to immediately take the required corrective measures and save the SITE Super Highway Industrial area from disaster. “It is simply an issue for our national economy as export orders of billions of rupees will not be readied in time if we continue to face such an alarming situation in future,” he said.

“Every now and then the Sindh chief minister and governor chair meetings or address functions where they take credit for facilitating industrial and business activities in Karachi after restoration of peace in the city. But here our situation is altogether different from their lofty claims,” he said.

Dr Kaiser, on behalf of his association, sent the other day an emergency appeal to the managing director of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board, requesting it to take measures on a war footing to restore water supply to the SITE Super Highway industrial area.