Cancelling lease not a wise move, fire-related SOPs need to be implemented: Zubair Motiwala
KARACHI: Chairman Businessmen Group (BMG) & Former President Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) Zubair Motiwala, after listening to the woes being suffered by factory owners of Mehran Town, stated that instead of cancelling the lease of 1401 plots in reaction to a fire incident, the government should ensure implementation of fire-related SOPs at all the factories in Mehran Town to avoid such unpleasant incidents in future.“Shutting down factories by cancelling lease is not a wise move as fire can break out any moment in any industrial, commercial or residential locality but precious lives can only be saved when the factories are well-equipped with fire-fighting ingredients including fire extinguishers and proper fire exits etc. whereas the fire department also has to be made more responsive”, he added while speaking at a meeting with a delegation from Mehran Town. The meeting was also attended by President KCCI Muhammad Idrees, Senior Vice President Abdul Rehman Naqi, Vice President Qazi Zahid Hussain and Managing Committee Members.Chairman BMG stated that the Karachi Chamber fully supports the demand of Mehran Town’s factory owners to withdraw notices pertaining to cancellation of lease as it has always been the Chamber’s prime responsibility to help the business community in distress. “We will make all out efforts and knock every door so that no injustice is done to any factory of Mehran Town”, he added.He said, “KCCI is also grieved over the loss of precious lives in Mehran Town due to a fire incident but strongly protests the subsequent action by Karachi Development Authority (KDA) that has triggered anxiety amongst factory owners. To amicably resolve this issue, we offer KCCI’s platform to mediate between both contestants, including the Sindh Government and Mehran Town factory owners, who can sit together to find a workable solution whereby all these factories are allowed to operate and safety of precious human lives is also ensured.”He said, “We have to learn from the past experiences as it has now become evident that lockdown was not the solution to fight with covid, the solution was vaccination. Similarly, cancellation of plots is also not the answer, the answer lies with availability fire safety equipment at factories. The government must understand that cottage industries in Mehran Town were not established overnight as they have grown up during a time span of 30 years. During all these years, they expanded and transformed from cottage industries to medium-size factories providing jobs to 200,000 workers which was rather a good thing happening to the province.”Appreciating Sindh government’s initiative to provide fire fighting vehicles to all industrial town associations of Karachi, he said that the availability of fire fighting vehicles at town associations has drastically reduced the response time. In this regard, he particularly mentioned that the industrialists of Site Association have built underground water tank along with accommodation for fire fighters and vehicle driver from their own resources that has drastically decreased the response time to just 3 minutes as soon as a fire incident is reported in Site area. “Mehran Town must also be given an exclusive Fire Fighting vehicle which would surely help in minimizing the damages and loss of precious lives in case any fire incident happens whereas the factories in this particular area must also be provided all civic amenities and infrastructure including roads, sewerage lines, water, gas and electricity supplies so that they could expand further and create more employment opportunities.