Karachi industrialists halve production as workers stay at home amid downpour

Published August 8, 2020
Most industrial units also had to suspend second shifts on Thursday and Friday besides asking workers and staffers to leave factories after afternoon prayers due to heavy thunderstorms. — AFP/File
Most industrial units also had to suspend second shifts on Thursday and Friday besides asking workers and staffers to leave factories after afternoon prayers due to heavy thunderstorms. — AFP/File

KARACHI: Barring Site industrial area, continuous rains in Karachi cut down production activities at industrial units by almost 50 per cent after traders pulled shutters way before the official shut down time of 7pm.

The rains on Thursday and Friday also affected the arrival of goods and raw material from ports, export shipments while breaking the supply chain mechanism between industries and traders.

Most industrial units also had to suspend second shifts — night — on Thursday and Friday besides asking workers and staffers to leave factories after afternoon prayers due to heavy thunderstorms.

Meanwhile, industrialists said that water and solid waste did not pool around industrial areas as the federal government had cleaned the nullahs around the city. However, they complained of power fluctuations in many areas.

Korangi Association of Trade and Industry Chairman Sheikh Umer Rehan said industries could only operate on 50pc capacity as many workers were absent on Friday while most of the industries stopped production as early as 2pm. Moreover, many industries had not called in full worker strength on Friday in view of the rain forecast.

Rehan said exporters and industries had already prepared contingency plans by curtailing movement of export consignments to the port as well as bringing in raw materials. He said he had not received any complaints from industrialists regarding rain water after cleaning of nullahs.

Trade, industry laud federal government’s cleaning drive

F.B. Area Association of Trade and Industry Chairman Abdullah Abid said industries recorded 50pc output as half of the workers and staffers were absent on Friday. He said the second shift was suspended on Thursday and Friday.

“Rain water has not accumulated in any industries on Friday after cleaning of Gujjar Nallah by the federal government,” he claimed.

North Karachi Association of Trade and Industry Chairman Naseem Akhtar said industries had asked workers to go home after 2pm which curtailed production by 50pc besides affecting export shipments.

Site Association of Industry Chairman Suleman Chawla said “production in the area was going normal despite continuous rains as industries had already prepared a working plan.”

He claimed that workers’ presence at production units during the first shift remained almost 100pc but exports could not be dispatched due to persistent rains.

All City Tajir Itehad General Secretary Mohammad Ahmed Shamsi said traders suffered huge losses as buyers had stopped turning towards the markets from Thursday evening to Friday due to bad road conditions after the rains.

He said markets in the old city areas had been worst hit where rain and sewerage water pooled in front of shops and godowns causing losses of millions of rupees to traders.

All Hyderi Business Traders Welfare Association President Syed Mohammad Saeed said a number of traders had left for home on Friday evening due to lack of buyers. He said sales for the last two days had remained highly depressed in 2,000 shops of Hyderi North Nazimabad area.

Karachi Electronic Dealers Association President Mohammad Rizwan said two days of continuous rain had kept the buyers away from markets, forcing shopkeepers to close shops much earlier than lock down time of 7pm.

Bohra Bazar Mochi Gali Traders Association President Mansoor Jack said a number of traders opted to stay at home after rain forecast while others, who opened their shops, were forced to close and leave by 2pm amid lack of buyers and power breakdown.

Published in Dawn, August 8th, 2020

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