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Wednesday Sep 02 2020

Karachi traders say rain caused them losses worth Rs50bn

Heavy rains in the city last week wreaked havoc as the weak infrastructure could not sustain the downpour, leading to urban flooding and hampering almost all business activities. Photo: Reuters

KARACHI: As the city reels from the downpour of heavy rain, traders’ association say they have estimated initial losses from the monsoon rains to be around Rs50 billion, reported The News.

The traders said that they had suffered unprecedented losses during the month of August due to heavy rains and flash floods.

Heavy rains in the city last week wreaked havoc as the city's weak infrastructure could not sustain the downpour, leading to urban flooding, which affected almost all business activities in the city.

The provincial government has initiated a loss assessment exercise surveying the markets, with traders urging authorities to appoint a relief commissioner and compensate the businessmen.

All Karachi Tajir Ittehad Chairman Atiq Mir said around Rs25 billion worth of sales revenue was lost as markets remained closed for seven days, “while initial estimates suggest goods worth Rs25 billion were destroyed due to submerging of markets and warehouses”.

“Markets remained closed since Tuesday last week, and even on Monday, 50% of markets couldn’t open,” Mir told The News. “Traders and markets register around Rs4 billion of sales a day, which was not materialised.”

He added that the old city area was the worst affected and that the area accommodated warehouses, wholesalers and retailers.

“Initial estimates suggest that inventory including medicines, apparatus, furniture, household goods and general consumer goods worth at least Rs25 billion have been destroyed,” Mir added.

All Pakistan Organisation of Small Traders and Cottage Industries President Mehmood Hamid said several markets were still inundated since the flood water had not yet been drained out, making it difficult for them to reach markets and assess the situation.

“There is no final number as yet, but we believe the inventory losses would run into billions of rupees,” Hamid said. “Goods, machinery and equipment have been destroyed in almost all the markets of the city.”

Rizwan Irfan of Karachi Electronics Dealers Association said the main electronic markets remained safe. However, some shops in the Nursery Area and DHA suffered some losses.

“The old city area was worst hit as markets and warehouses of edibles, cloth and medicines were inundated,” Irfan said.

Sabir Sheikh of Motorcycle Manufacturers Association said the main motorcycle market at Akbar Road also remained safe and there were no major losses.

Industrialists and exporters have already predicted export loss as production units are inundated as labourers could not reach work, while there has been no transportation and no electricity.

Due to power outage in the city, many industrial units including the ICI Pakistan at West wharf remained closed till Monday.