KOHAT: The industries department has failed to make fully operational the small industrial estate on Dhoda Road here despite the passage of 36 years since the plots were allotted in 1984.
Sources confided to Dawn that a majority of the allotted plots were lying unused despite the fact they were required to become operational within two years of allotment, but the department was not cancelling such plots. They said the plots’ transfer was also going on against the rules without any check.
They said that most of the owners had only raised nominal structures decades ago in a bid to hoodwink the department, and to later sell the plots at exorbitant rates.
The sources said an arms factory had obtained 12 plots in 1984, but these were still lying unused in violation of the law. They said construction work should be started on the plot after six months of allotment, and it should be made operational within two years. They added that it was also against the law that 12 plots were allotted to single firm or party.
The sources pointed out that out of the 156 plots allotted only 11 factories could be established so far.
Majority of plots lying unused since 1984
When contacted, district industries officer Malik Tariq Khattak, told Dawn that objections were raised that one party could not get a dozen plots, but no action was taken at that time. He claimed that since work on the plots owned by the firm was under progress when he took charge in 2017, he could not cancel them.
He refused to accept a claim that the firm just put soil from one plot to another to show that work was ongoing.
Mr Khattak claimed that construction work on 48 plots was underway, completed on 12 and 11 plots were operational. He said roads to the estate had also been completed.
Meanwhile, a statement issued here said a delegation of the Kohat Chamber of Commerce and Industry called on the director general small industries in Peshawar to request him to set up a laboratory in the industrial estate.
Former KCCI president Haji Rasheed Paracha said the laboratory was essential for making and approval of recipes of jams, jellies and other food products for the industry owners.
He said presently there was only one laboratory in the whole province in Peshawar and people had to go there to obtain recipes.
However, he said the director general small industries argued that it was impossible to establish such a giant project in every district.
Published in Dawn, August 20th, 2020