FPCCI rejects ban on construction of high-rises in Karachi


KARACHI Oct 17 (TNS): President, Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Zubair Tufail and business community leader S. M. Muneer, expressed their displeasure over ban on construction of high-rise and multi-story buildings in Karachi due to inefficiency of Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KW&SB).

They demanded to lift this ban as soon as possible because construction industry is the largest job provider and supporting other 72 allied industries and if the ban is not lifted, capital will start flying out of Karachi and out of the country.

They were addressing a joint press conference at the ABAD House here, flanked by Chief Patron ABAD Mohsin Sheikhani, Chairman ABAD Arif Yousuf Jeewa, Senior Vice Chairman Fayaz Ilyas, Vice Chairman Sohail Warind and Chairman Southern Region Altaf Tai.

They announced complete support to the Association of Builders and Developers of Pakistan (ABAD) and said that the construction industry is the largest job provider sector and if this industry shuts down, the government will face to stick to power.

They said that flight of capital has started and it seems that a conspiracy is being hatched against the provincial government. The ban on construction of high-rise buildings in Karachi is not fair as this ban has come as the result of inefficiency of KW&SB and other concerned departments, they said adding that government departments are becoming hurdles for the progress and development of Karachi.

They assured to take up this issue at every available platform and even support the ABAD in the Supreme Court.

Zubair Tufail said that the ban on construction of high-rises in Karachi is a wrong decision as Karachi needs vertical construction being a Mega city and the ABAD should be allowed to install RO plants for their projects. He also advised office-bearers of ABAD to install Desalination plants with the support of Chinese investors. He said that the government is bound to provide housing facilities to people. He also demanded to provide loan facilities to people from low-income group in projects of members of ABAD.

S.M. Muneer said that Pakistan is facing shortfall of 12 million housing units and if new houses are not to be built, prices of existing housing units will also increase, which is no way acceptable to us. He told that the KW&SB had misguided the Supreme Court that high-rise buildings should be banned due to shortage of water. He raised the question that there are many countries including Dubai and Saudi Arabia have no water, have they imposed ban on high-rises?  He said that how tankers are able to provide water, if there is any shortage of water. Replying to a question, he said that Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi had threatened to destroy the industries of Pakistan and now 80% industries of Faisalabad are almost destroyed.

He lamented that the Karachi is considered as the filthiest city of the world and it seems that a conspiracy is being hatched against Chief Minister of Sindh and ABAD should solve the issue of high-rise with the close cooperation of Chief Minister.

Addressing the media, Mohsin Sheikhani said that thousands of people will lose their bread and butter due to ban on high-rise buildings. He said that the construction industry has reached to the verge of destruction, which will bring a flood of joblessness in the country. He said that hurdles are being created for those people who are working according to law and paying their taxes but these elements are providing shelter to those people who are involved in illegal activities and paying no tax to the government. He informed that the KW&SB has allowed water connections to two projects, which is contempt of the court.

Chairman Arif Yousuf Jeewa said that more than 300 projects are waiting for approval from the Sindh Building Control Authority resultantly a huge investment of more than Rs 600 Billion is stopped. More than 2 million people will lose their jobs, if the ban on high-rise construction prevails; he said adding that this ban is only for Karachi, which is lamenting. He said that it seems that all problems are for Karachiites only. He asked to Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah and Chairman PPPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari that why Karachiites are being targeted. We are paying taxes of billions of rupees to the government but all where all these money are going, he said adding that for example billions are paid for the commercialization of plots on Khalid Bin Walid road of Karachi but new sewerage pipelines is being laid there, which is not according to need of the area.