Eden Housing’ Record Plea-bargain to Illegal Schemes in Hyderabad; Infocus Weekly Briefs

by M. Wasim

10 April 2022

Eden Housing goes for Record 15 Billion Plea-bargain

The Devious Plot to Legalise Irregular Housing Schemes in Lahore

According to a news report the National Accountability Bureau is likely to approve a plea bargain request of the Eden Housing amounting to Rs15 billion. Anjum Amjad, the widow of Eden Housing owner Dr Amjad, has requested the NAB this week to accept a plea bargain amounting to Rs15 billion and give her two years for the payment. But the Bureau asked her to make the plea bargain amount within a year. If approved, it will be the biggest bargain in the housing sector in the country in which more than 12,000 people are affected.

According to the NAB, there are over 12,000 affectees of the housing scam unearthed in 2013. The suspects had collected over Rs 25 billion from the public through fraud and fled the country. However, the affectees have rejected the move, saying the paltry amount can`t compensate their loss. Hundreds of affectees of the housing scam gathered outside the accountability court as Ms Amjad arrived with her counsel on expiry of her pre-arrest bail and protested against her and the Bureau.

Illegal Housing Schemes in Hyderabad’ Flood Zone

The Commissioner of Hyderabad has directed the Hyderabad Development Authority this week to suspend layout plans of seven residential schemes launched by builders in red zone of the Indus River after the Sindh Irrigation and Drainage Authority asked the HDA to cancel the schemes which may pose serious threat to Kotri barrage in the event of floods. The commissioner directed the authority to send details of the schemes it had approved that were located `along main dyke` and `loop bund` of the river to the Irrigation Authority to seek its clearance whether the schemes were safe.

The names of the schemes are Al-Medina City, Al-Raheem City, Kohsar Green City shops and flats, Ghosia Town, Kohsar Heaven, Saiban Housing Scheme and Green Town City. However, one owned by a Karachi-based builder Saima Riviera spread over 18 acres along main dyke Jamshoro front bund of the river was left out from cancellation. A director from Irrigation Authority informed the meeting that these schemes in Kohsar area were located in riverine area which had been marked as `red zone` because of proneness to flooding during flood in the river. He said that roads had been built and their height had been raised by 6 to 8 feet for the schemes, which might clearly prove detrimental to Kotri barrage in case of flood in the Indus. Besides he disclosed that one functional grid station of Hyderabad Electric Supply Company was also located in the flood zone.

World’ 99% population breaths Unhealthy Air

Pakistan Energy Scenario after China’ Exit from Coal Financing Projects

It is shocking to know that 99% of the entire global population breathes air that exceeds World Health Organization air quality limits and threatens their health. The World Health Organization’s air quality database depicting the global situation mentions a record number of over 6,000 cities in 117 countries are now monitoring air quality, but people living in them are still breathing unhealthy levels of fine particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide, with people in low and middle income countries suffering the highest exposures.

The new air quality database is the most extensive yet in its coverage of air pollution exposure on the ground. Some 2,000 more cities or human settlements are now recording ground monitoring data for particulate matter, PM10 or PM2.5, than the last update. This marks an almost 6-fold rise in reporting since the database was launched in 2011. The findings have prompted the WHO to highlight the importance of curbing fossil fuel use and taking other tangible steps to reduce air pollution level.

KPK Afforestation & Environment Plan

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa forestry, environment and wildlife department has prepared a strategy to reduce desertification and forest degradation at the cost of over Rs2.15 billion in the next 10 years. In 2013, the PTI government had launched the Billion Trees Tsunami Afforestation Program in the province and later the initiative was extended to other parts of the country as the Ten Billion Trees Tsunami Afforestation program after the party formed government in the center in 2018.

The strategy is named the Reducing Emission from Desertification and forest Degradation Action Plan, of which overarching purpose is to increase benefits from sustainably managed and enhanced forest resources for the people contributing to their livelihood and at the same time mitigating climate change.

Rise in Cement Sales

According to the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association after a slowdown in sales in the last few months, local cement dispatches recovered by 4% in March to 4.74 million tons from 4.5 million tons a year ago, signaling some start of construction activities after the winter season. Despite a rise in domestic uptake in March, the overall July-March 2021-22 local sales slightly remained low by 0.03% to 36.17 million tons from 36.18 million tons in the same period last fiscal year. Similarly exports during the same period came down by a massive 35% to 4.64m tons from 7.14m tons.

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