Three days after rains, Karachi business struggles to recover

Published September 1, 2020
KARACHI: A view of stagnant rainwater in Kharadar area on Monday. — PPI
KARACHI: A view of stagnant rainwater in Kharadar area on Monday. — PPI

KARACHI: Traders in the old city areas — dealing with the bulk of country’s wholesale trade — on Monday continued to struggle with stagnant rainwater and assessing inventory losses while industrialists in different areas gave a mixed picture of production activities and export activities on the first day of the week.

Korangi Association of Trade and Industry President Sheikh Umer Rehan said some 30 per cent of the 4,500 units in the area faced severe hardship as rain water inundated the factories and go downs, causing huge inventory losses of finished goods and raw materials.

He said that most of the staff was unable to arrive at factories due to flooded roads which brought down production by almost 30-40pc.

A sizable number of labor in the area usually arrives from the EBM causeway and Korangi Crossing, which were opened on Monday evening after continuous rains last week. Hopefully, labor turnover would improve from Tuesday onwards, he added.

Traders and industrialists to release loss estimates in next few days

“Industrial units are draining out accumulated rain water with their own efforts,” he said adding that the “affected units would share details on inventory losses in a day or two.”

F.B. Area Association of Trade and Industry (FBATI) President Abdullah Abid said only 15-18pc of the small and medium sized units out of the total 2,200 in the area were facing issues because of rain water.

He said the situation in FBATI was better because the association had already procured six water draining pumps to clear rain water from the area.

Site Association of Industries President Suleman Chawla said production activities in the area remained normal but added that laborers were facing problems in reaching factories their units owing to the bad road conditions in Site area.

Meanwhile, Bin Qasim Association of Trade and Industry Secretary General Abdul Rahman Ismail said production remained normal in 350-400 large to medium-sized units despite power breakdown issues at some units. He said that so far, he had not received any complaints regarding stagnating rain water from industrialists in the area.

North Karachi Association of Trade and Industry President Naseem Akhtar claimed “all the units resumed full production activities on Monday.”

“Luckily, rain and sewerage water did not enter any factory despite incessant rains,” he claimed adding that export shipments from the area also resumed on Monday.

All City Tajir Itehad General Secretary Ahmed Shamsi said traders in the old city areas like medicine market, Densohall, electric market, Khori Garden, Marriot road, cloth market, plastic market etc were working to clear rain and sewerage water from their shops and godowns on their own.

“Traders are analysing inventory losses at shops and go downs and may come out with a report in a day or two,” he added.

Moreover, Karachi Wholesale Grocers Association Chairman Anis Majeed said around 350 of the 700 shops in Dandia Bazar — hub of essential food items — were still inundated with 1-1.5 feet of rain and sewerage water on Monday. The water had damaged various commodities, he added.

All Pakistan Restaurant Association Convener Athar Chawla requested Sindh government, Defence Housing Authority, Cantonment Board Clifton and concerned departments to clear out rainwater to save the restaurant industry from further devastation.

Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry President Mian Anjum Nisar said heavy rains have inundated the entire city and severely damaged the roads and exposed the already-weak infrastructure. The city, that contributes more than 60pc of the revenue to the national kitty has been left at the mercy of nature and relief measures are highly inadequate, he complained.

Published in Dawn, September 1st, 2020

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