The Damascus Provincial Council recently issued a circular informing the owners of nearly 750 industrial establishments in the Damascene neighborhood of Qaboun of the need to move their facilities outside the capital, announcing its intention to demolish the industrial zone in Qaboun and establish a commercial and residential center.
A member of the Executive Office in Damascus, Faisal Srour, said that the governorate has decided to transfer industrial facilities to Adra due to the destruction in Qaboun, which reached about 80 percent, adding that they “have nothing personal against the people of Qaboun,” according to what was reported by the pro-regime Al-Watan newspaper.
Industrialists in the region confirmed that they hired a committee from the Engineers Syndicate, which issued an official report in which it said that the percentage of destruction in the neighborhood does not exceed 20 percent, and that the industrial facilities need but minor restoration operations, which had been previously stated by the head of the Qaboun Industrial Committee, Atef Tayfour.
Al-Araby Al-Jadeed quoted the economic researcher, Radwan al-Debs, who said that the closure of factories in the industrial zone in Qaboun will mean billions of dollars lost for industrialists and unemployment affecting tens of thousands of families, in addition to the state’s loss of an important tax resource, while the ones who are taking advantage of the decision are those who work in real estate investment and usually reap extraordinary profits.
Debs added that all the factories in the region are small or medium-sized, which means that the number of workers is high and production is fast and direct, and about 20,000 families live off those facilities, in addition to the employees and workers in support services.
Damascus Governorate issued Organizational Plan No. 105, which provides for the demolition and regulation of more than 70 percent of the area of the Qaboun neighborhood in order to establish a project that includes several residential, commercial, and service towers, in addition to buildings for investment, hospitals, schools, and several service centers for the city, according to the announced plan.
There were disputes between merchants and industrialists, on one side, and the regime’s government, on the other, regarding the industrial zone, amid attempts to demolish residential buildings during the past two years by merchants and investors who are undertaking operations to remove rubble from Qaboun, chief among whom is Syrian businessman, Mohammad Hamsho, who has been working on becoming the owner of the largest part of the area, by intimidating people and preventing them from entering the neighborhood.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.