25 December 2022
Housing Projects for Overseas Pakistanis
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has ordered construction of housing units for Pakistanis living abroad in Islamabad with modern amenities to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and bolster its forex reserves. While presiding over a high-level conference he instructed for the development of top-notch residential facilities for Pakistanis living abroad in the federal capital. According to Shehbaz Sharif, one of the government’s primary aims is to provide Pakistanis living abroad with houses of a high grade. He said that for this reason, the services of building firms with a solid reputation internationally should be retained. He also gave the order to finish these development initiatives as soon as possible.
Representatives of the Capital Development Authority briefed the prime minister in great detail. In this regard, the CDA has prepared a presentation for Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, which outline the vision and the proposed outcomes of the plan. The presentation focuses on the potential of two new housing projects, the Gandhara Enclave and the, as well as the revenue potential of the under-construction Nilor Heights Housing Project. The CDA is also set to auction off some commercial plots. As per CDA sources, the Gandhara Enclave project falls in Zone I and partially in Zone III and has the potential to generate billions of rupees in revenue. The Kuri Housing Scheme is to be developed on 10,000 kanals and is also one of the largest projects in the country. The Prime Minister acknowledged that overseas Pakistanis are our valuable asset and their welfare and protection of their rights is the top priority of his government.
Concerns on Lahore Master Plan
Lahore High Court has expressed its concern over the Lahore Master Plan-2050 saying the future of the agricultural land had been put at stake. Earlier a public hearing on the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) of the Lahore Division Master Plan-2050 could not yield any results, as most of the participants raised concerns over the plan and urged the government to involve all stakeholders while finalising it. According to a Director of LDA the new master plan would only reduce the green area of the metropolitan city by 12%. While hearing several petitions of farmers challenging alleged forced acquisition of land and its sale by the Ravi Urban Development Authority Justice Shahid Karim noted that the world opted for vertical housing instead of expanding cities on land. “Smog has reached a dangerous level and nobody cares here,” he regrets.
The judge observed that the court would see whether the opinion of the international town planners had been sought by the government before finalising the master plan of Lahore. The farmers contended through counsel that the Ruda occupied their lands with the use of force and started selling the same to new buyers. They said the Supreme Court had restrained the Ruda from forcibly acquiring the land of the farmers and alleged that the respondents violated the apex court’s direction and continued its illegal activities. They asked the court to restrain the Ruda from acquiring and selling their land. After hearing the arguments, Justice Karim issued notices to the Punjab government and the Ruda for submission of reply within a week.
Rs. 5 Billion for Flood Victims’ Housing
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said the Centre would spend at least Rs5 billion to construct houses for flood victims in the province. After his visit to rain-hit areas in Khairpur this, the prime minister said that Rs4.80 billion have been donated to the prime minister`s account for flood survivors and added that more funds are expected to be donated. He also reveals that the government would build houses for the affected people and added that the chief minister would provide plots for the construction and the same process would be followed in other provinces as well.
According to PM Sharif, the rehabilitation process was already underway across the country, but there are still several areas underwater. Prime Minister added that the government would move towards reconstruction and rehabilitation works, but at present, at least eight million families were rain-affected. He elaborated that at least 20m people, including nine million children, were waiting for the government to help them. According to the Prime Minister`s Office, the government has separately launched a comprehensive plan prepared by the planning and development division for the rehabilitation of flood victims, the ”Resilient, Recovery, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Framework” (4RF), which envisaged short, medium, and long-term strategies to rehabilitate the survivors.
Karachi a “Bowl of Poison”
The Sindh government came under fire at an event this week for the lack of concern and action towards growing environmental degradation in Karachi, which was described as a bowl of poison due to its worsened air quality. The event on `Karachi`s Ignored Toxic Air quality and the Mounting Health Toll` was organised by the Karachi Citizens Forum “The air is so polluted with toxic elements today that the city has literally turned into a bowl filled with poison, endangering survival of all forms of life,” shares an environmentalist.
Panelists regretted that the successive governments chose harmful ways for energy production, aggravating the country`s environmental crisis and endangering public health. Half of the city`s air pollution, he pointed out, was caused by vehicular traffic. However, other sources of air pollution in Karachi, include emissions from factories, air conditioners and generators, burning of waste and unsafe construction. Speakers were agreed that we should have made green solutions our priority for energy production and sought help from China, the largest solar panel maker in the world. But the governments opted coal for energy production.