Turning in­dus­trial area into hous­ing so­ci­ety

Pakistan Observer - - EDITORIALS & COMMENTS -

CIVIC bodes are meant to pro­mote wel­fare of the peo­ple but there are numer­ous in­stances when they be­haved purely as com­mer­cial en­ti­ties or tools in the hands of some vested in­ter­ests. This is once again hap­pen­ing in the case of La­hore De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity (LDA), which has made known its plans to con­vert KK In­dus­trial Es­tate into a res­i­den­tial colony for rea­sons best known to its bosses.

The is­sue has sparked protests and thou­sands of peo­ple in­clud­ing likely to be af­fected in­dus­tri­al­ists and work­ers, blocked main Ferozepur Road, burnt tyres and chanted slo­gans against the Govern­ment for grant­ing per­mis­sion to LDA to un­der­take such a ne­far­i­ous plan. This re­minds one of the sum­mary moved by CDA to dis­man­tle Na­tional Agri­cul­ture Research Cen­tre (NARC) in the Fed­eral Cap­i­tal to pave the way for estab­lish­ment of a hous­ing so­ci­ety. The is­sue was ag­i­tated by all seg­ments of the so­ci­ety in­clud­ing the Par­lia­ment and ul­ti­mately the au­thor­i­ties con­cerned were forced to change their pro­gramme. One fails to un­der­stand how and why a Govern­ment that claims to be in­dus­try-friendly can make such a de­ci­sion? The episode comes at a time when both in­dus­trial pro­duc­tion and ex­ports have fallen dan­ger­ously de­spite pro­vi­sion of un­in­ter­rupted electricity and gas and grant of GSP Plus sta­tus to Pak­istan by the Euro­pean Union. Apart from pro­vid­ing con­ces­sions and re­lief to the in­dus­try, ef­forts should also be made to re­vive the sick units but here the govern­ment seems to be in­stru­men­tal in up­root­ing al­ready es­tab­lished in­dus­tries. If there are prob­lems with the KK In­dus­trial Es­tate, th­ese should be re­solved in con­sul­ta­tion with stake­hold­ers but the so­lu­tion to wind up the es­tate al­to­gether is de­void of san­ity. Un­for­tu­nately, land mafia has be­come very pow­er­ful in the coun­try and govern­ment de­part­ments and of­fi­cials of­ten be­come tool in its hands in­flict­ing harm to other spheres of life. We would urge Pun­jab Chief Min­is­ter Mian Shah­baz Sharif to per­son­ally look into the is­sue and pre­vent any pos­si­ble progress on this ill-con­ceived idea.

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