The construction of Makro Cash and Carry, a Dutch wholesale warehouse, has started in the Model Town Society (MTS). The House of Habib has teamed up with the Dutch to introduce Makro to Pakistan.

The site is spread over 65 kanals and MTS will earn Rs 1.5 billion in 33 years from leasing out the land (Rs 375,000 a kanal per year). The project will also generate 200 jobs.

A group of Model Town residents have been against the presence of the warehouse in their area. They say this will lead to the commercialisation of Model Town and the degradation of the environment.

MTS president Tahir Hussain Kardar told Daily Times on Thursday that a majority of MTS members had approved the construction of the wholesale warehouse. He said the project was undertaken keeping in view the MTS residents’ needs.

He said the previous MTS president had leased out the land for Rs 100,000 a kanal, but when he was elected president he negotiated and fixed the rate at Rs 375,000 a kanal per year with a four percent annual increase in the rate.

He said MTS would earn Rs 1.5 billion during the lease period and would also own the land.

Kardar denied any differences amongst the members, saying, “An MTS managing committee meeting and later a general body meeting decided to lease out the land. Out of 530 members, 30 are against the decision. Those who disagree with the project are billionaires and want to purchase the land themselves, but that is not in MTS’ interest.”

He said the National Engineering Services Pakistan had carried out an Environmental Impact Assessment, which had made sure that the environment would not be harmed.

He also said the Makro parking lot could cater to more than 350 cars and was working on a traffic management plan to minimise the chances of a traffic jam.

Model Town resident Amer Azam, one of the opponents of the wholesale warehouse, said the issue was in court. He said, “We have filed an appeal with the registrar of the Cooperative Societies and the issue is being decided on. According to the law, MTS can’t start construction till the court decides the case.”

He said opponents of the warehouse would plan their next step once the registrar of the Cooperatives Societies decided the case. “We will go to the Supreme Court if we have to. This is not in Model Town’s interest,” he added.

Source: Daily Times