KARACHI: Chairman Businessmen Group (BMG) & Former President Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) Siraj Kassam Teli has said that the an overwhelming majority have supported and praised his statement of handing over Karachi to Pakistan Army for the next five years to rebuilt Karachi’s infrastructure while only a few misunderstood this statement, they should know that I am a born Karachiite and a Memon and more Sindhi than anybody else in this province. “We firmly stand by our legitimate demand to hand over Karachi to the army which is not a political statement and this task should be given to NDMA and FWO under the supervision of the army as they have done a wonderful job by promptly clearing the choked nullahs in order to avoid the disaster caused by heavy rainfalls.

He said that the task to rebuilt infrastructure has to be immediately given to NDMA and FWO while sufficient funding by the federal and provincial governments must also be made available all the time for this particular purpose so that the entire infrastructure of the city including roads and sewerage lines could be rebuilt and the garbage could also be cleaned once and for all while all the political parties must jointly devise some kind of an effective mechanism that ensures sustainable cleanliness all over Karachi.

“There is no political angle in my statement and our only intention is to sincerely raise voice for the betterment of Karachi which can only be done by Pak Army as all the political parties, who remained in power during the last 20 to 25 years, did nothing for the largest city of Pakistan and they are fully responsible for ruining the city’s infrastructure and intensifying hardships for Karachiites”, Siraj Teli said, “Due to sheer negligence towards all the infrastructure issues of Karachi, the situation has aggravated to such an extent that the Provincial government and the local administration are incapable of dealing with the infrastructure issue hence, it has become inevitable to immediately give this task to the Pakistan Army.”

Siraj Teli further pointed out that the miserable state of Karachi’s infrastructure can be gauged from the fact that excluding the main roads, all other roads within the whole city and also within the jurisdiction of all seven industrial zones of Karachi, particularly Site area, are in an awful state and almost inexistent. It is also a matter of concern that the Board meetings of Site Limited, which is responsible for maintaining the infrastructure of the largest industrial zone, were not taking place. “In this regard, I would particularly like to mention that Former Managing Director of Site Limited, Late Mehdi Shah, who expired recently due to coronavirus(May Almighty Allah rest his soul in eternal peace), succeeded in obtaining approval for release of Rs1.25 billion for the development of roads in Site Area but unfortunately, these funds remain unutilized to date. “Anyone having any doubt about the pathetic infrastructure network of Site area is invited to accompany me and tour the Site Area where commuting even on a jeep has become impossible nowadays”, he added.

He stressed that the cleanup drive should not remain confined to just clearing the chocked nullahs only but every single nook and corner of Karachi has to be completely cleansed from garbage on war footing basis and it must be an ongoing process till the entire city is completely cleaned. “Effective Strategies and mechanism have to be defined which must ensure that the city’s cleanliness is maintained at any cost in future”, he added.

He said that Karachiites and the business & industrial community have no trust over the local administration which has failed miserably to minimize the hardships being faced by Karachiites hence, the government must pay heed to business community’s impartial demand to engage the army on top priority otherwise, the devastating situation in Karachi would also depict in country’s economy keeping in view the mammoth contribution of more than 70 percent revenue being generated from Karachi.