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Lahore: Katar Bund Industrial Estate without amenities

THE Katar Bund industrial area, a few kilometres away from Thokar Niaz Baig, has completely broken roads and no sewerage system and lack of facilities discourages white-collar workers to accept jobs in the industrial units.

The industrialists of the area have appealed to the government that, before starting construction of new industrial estates, it should first improve infrastructure and law and order situation in the areas where industries were already operating. They pointed out that Katar Bund Industrial Area was established four decades back and as many as 150 small and medium industrial units were operating. They complained that both the provincial and the district governments had neglected the area and no development work, including the maintenance of infrastructure, was carried out in past one decade.

Katar Bund Industrial Estate President Mehmood Ghaznavi told The News that the industrial units in the estate include a renowned multinational pharmaceutical company, food industry with a bread and milk processing plant and auto parts manufacturers. He said a transformer-manufacturing concern and a state-of-the-art plastic product unit were also operative in the area.

Mr Ghaznavi said there was no road network and pathways were uneven and bumpy, adding that dust spread all around whenever a vehicle plied on the roads. He said the sewerage system practically did not exist and polluted water could be seen accumulated around the industries.

Another office-bearer of the association, Main Muhammed Nawaz, said the Katar Bund industries were depositing Rs350-400 million as revenue every year, adding that the industries needed no favour from the government but simply sought the facilities that were provided to other industrial areas.

Nawaz, who ran a PVC flooring unit, said that he had been unable to hire a well-paid engineer because the highly qualified skilled workers were reluctant to come to Katar Bund because of destroyed road network. He said although the industrial area was the closest to the provincial metropolis but the Lahore-based engineers and technicians preferred to work in the developed industrial areas even 40 kilometres away from the city.

The senior vice-president of the association, Chaudhry Hafeez, said the law and order situation in the Katar Bund Industrial Area was pathetic, adding that theft of transformers in industrial estates was not heard of but in the recent past two transformers from the industries were stolen.

He said the industrialists had to go from pillar to post to get connections for new transformers even after making full payments, adding that the bureaucratic hurdles in getting reconnection after transformers’ theft were the same as those of the new connection. Mr Hafeez said the law and order situation had gone so low that even the labourers of the area were robbed.

He said the labourers who finished work after the sunset had started staying back at the industries to leave for homes in the morning due to the fear of thieves.

Source: The News

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