RAHIM YAR KHAN: The process of shifting industrial units from residential areas of the city and the district is going at a snail’s pace as industrialists are reluctant to shift there while work on the phase II of the Rahim Yar Khan Industrial Estate (RYKIE) has been suspended for a while now.

On the other hand, the Environment Protection Department (EPD) has issued notices to the industrialists to move their units out of the residential areas.

EPD Deputy Director Aamir Rehmani told this correspondent that he had issued notices to all the businessmen to shift their units to the RYKIE from the populated areas but many industrialists were not coordinating. He said a big cotton ginning factory had started its construction at the RYKIE but the owner of the neighbouring plot had filed a case against the factory for he did not want a cotton mill there.

Most of cotton and ginning factories, flour mills and oil mills still exist in the urban as well as rural populated areas of the district despite completion of the phase I of the RYKIE.

PIEDMC Public Relations Officer Ghulam Nabi said there was a limit of 31 months for the plot owners to construct their factories; otherwise, their allotment of plots would be cancelled. He said the same practice was adopted in the Sundar Industrial Estate which had resulted immediate establishment of factories there.

The work on phase II of the industrial estate has been stopped though and there are many other tasks which have to be completed in this new phase by the Punjab Industrial Estate Development and Management Company (PIEDMC), including parks, hospital, community centre, vocational training centre, two mosques, expo centre and a hotel.

Rahim Yar Khan Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Shafiq Aleem said he would call the PIEDMC officials as they were in a better position to ask about the main hurdles to the completion of the project but he did not tell about it later on.

Former chief minister Shahbaz Sharif had inaugurated the Rs2bn project at Chak 5-NP on the national highway between Rahim Yar Khan and Sadiqabad for establishing industrial zone on 456 acres.

Published in Dawn, November 20th, 2019