Green Urbanization to SBCA conceding Incompetence; Infocus Weekly Briefs

by M. Wasim

19 December 2021

PM Imran Khan Vision of Green Urbanization

Prime Minister Imran Khan has emphasized on green urbanization models and directed the Punjab government to take legal action against the elements involved in encroachments and building illegal housing societies. “Green urbanization will help in reducing the adverse impact of pollution and these models should be replicated in other cities of the country,” he sates.

 While chairing this week a meeting on the Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project and Central Business District Lahore, he stressed on the use of environment-friendly material, including smart trees, blue roads and energy-efficient construction material, on these projects. The prime minister also stated development of green spaces in new plans and their preservation in the existing urban areas was necessary for mitigating the impact of pollution, including smog.

SBCA concedes its “Incompetence” before Court

During a judicial hearing the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) has officially conceded their incompetence before the Sindh High Court (SHC). When their chief conceded that they were facing different issues including incompetence while the lawyer for SBCA stated that there was no time frame in the authority for transfer and posting of officials. The SHC ordered the SBCA for removal of illegal constructions, file criminal prosecution against developers of such buildings, take action against architects and licensed inspecting engineers concerned as well as against SBCA officials for allowing such constructions.

The Sindh High Court expressed serious resentment at the SBCA for failing to take action against illegal constructions and encroachments in the city. A two-judge SHC bench headed by Justice Zafar Ahmed Rajput issued these directives on a set of petitions filed against illegal and unauthorized constructions and encroachments in different parts of the city.

Nasla Tower Resident dies in Depression

It is very unfortunate that a former resident of Nasla Tower died after suffering from “sheer depression.” That has been revealed in a statement from Association of Builders & Developers.

“Shamim Usman aged 65 was a retired employee of PIA and used to reside in flat No 104 of Nasla Tower,” says the statement. She had invested all her money earned through hard work and service benefits on retirement. She was in sheer depression after she and all residents of Nasla Tower were forced to leave their homes on the order of Supreme Court.

The ABAD said she was a retired employee of the Pakistan International Airlines and was suffering from depression after she had been forced to vacate her flat in the 15-storied building last month.

Court rules out Tourism at the cost of Environment Degradation

The Peshawar High Court this week has observed that it won’t allow the tourism development in the region through deforestation and environmental degradation. The apex court has instructed authorities to produce reports on the illegal sand excavation from the bed of the Kunhar River in Mansehra, the construction of a hotel on Nathiagali forestland, and encroachments along major rivers in the province.

A bench consisting of Chief Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan and Justice Syed M. Attique Shah also directed authorities not to yield to any pressure by influential people during a crackdown on law offenders. The chief justice asked examination of the construction of a five-star hotel in Nathiagali area following the alleged encroachment of the land of Ayubia National Park, besides illegal excavation around 30,000 tons of sand and gravel by a Chinese firm from the bed of the River Kunhar for the execution of the Suki Kinaru project.

Construction Sector survives in Large Scale Manufacturing’ declivity

According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics Large-Scale Manufacturing (LSM) contracted by 1.19% in October from the same month a year ago. Although, the current financial year started with a paltry growth in LSM but the negative growth in October is in stark contrast of the growth of preceding months. The PBS snapshot of manufacturing activity showed that seven out of 15 sub-sectors in the LSM dipped in October.

In the construction sector Cement output declined by 12.57% despite the fact that there is a greater demand for it following the start of construction activities and an increase in exports. However, the production of paints and varnishes increased by 2.72% and the steel sector, billets and ingots posted a growth of 6.96%.

The government claimed revival of industrial production after a long slump due to the Covid-19 pandemic. But high-interest rates and depreciation of the rupee increase the cost of raw materials further and economic activities are expected to slow down during the current financial year.

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