Dec 15 deadline set for strategy against illegal factories


The district government has been planning to shift illegal factories in residential colonies to industrial zones after it received a number of complaints regarding health-hazardous commercial activities.
District Coordination Officer (DCO) Saqib Zafar has directed the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) to submit their recommendations regarding the shifting of illegal factories and ensuring complete safety arrangements in all industrial units within 10 days, sources in the DCO office told APP.
They said that a two-pronged strategy for an industrial safety plan and re-location of factories would be implemented in letter and spirit. Under the plan, commercial units could be shifted from residential areas to Taxila and Rawat industrial sectors, they said.
Sources said that the final decision would be taken on December 15, after receiving input from all stakeholders to ensuring complete safety arrangements in industrial units and clearing housing colonies of illegal commercial units.
According to a report, around 130 illegal factories were functioning in various residential areas of the city, out of which 40 were located in Khyaban-e-Sir Syed, Bagh Sardaran, old Baddar and Bangash colonies Khyaban-e-Iqbal. Khyaban-e-Sir Syed, where illegal businesses, including recycling of plastic for shoe making, leather refining and scrap-trade on a large scale was rampant, had turned into a volcano that could erupt anytime and cause loss of human lives if immediate action was not taken against them.
Residents of Khyaban-e-Iqbal said that illegal commercial activities in the area had made their lives difficult as they had to face unpleasant smells of chemicals used in plastic recycling and leather refining coupled with a lot of noise pollution.
Under the Punjab Local Government Ordinance, no business activities could be carried out in housing colonies and the Town Municipal Administration (TMA) officer was bound to ensure a conducive atmosphere for citizens.