Middle East Green Initiative Summit to Nesla Tower Protest; Infocus Weekly Briefs

by M. Wasim

October 24, 2021

Middle East Green Initiative Summit

The Middle East Green Initiative (MGI) Summit kicked off this week and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan are visiting Saudi Arabia for the Summit at the invitation of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz. The prime minister is accompanied by a high-level delegation, including the foreign minister and other cabinet members, during his three-day official visit.

This is the first of its kind summit being held in the Middle East region. Aimed at protecting the nature and planet, Green Saudi Arabia and Green Middle East initiatives were launched by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in March.

In the event Mr Imran Khan shared with the delegates his perspective on the challenges faced by developing countries due to climate change and also highlighted Pakistan’s experience of launching nature-based solutions to address environmental challenges.

Nesla Tower Protest

The residents of Nesla Tower held a big protest outside the residency against the apex court’ order of demolition of the controversial residential tower. The district administration has already served them notices to vacate the building, but the protesters claimed they wouldn’t leave it until their money get back by builder, as per court order.

The protesters were also supported by Jamaat e Islami, as their chief Hafiz Naeemur Rehman visited the protesting camp by families and appealed to the Supreme Court to review its decision on Nasla Tower, arguing that demolition of the multi-storied residential building would not reflect the true justice. “The families living here have all necessary documentation and they have met all the legal formalities on their end. So the residents should not be exposed to suffering just because that the ego of someone wants to do so” Hafiz Naeem says.

Hanif Gohar condemns growing Construction Material Cost

Former Chairman ABAD and Vice Chairman FPCCI Hanif Gohar says that due to the continuous rising prices of construction material specially of cement and steel low cost housing is getting difficult in Pakistan. That’s why builders rather developing housing projects, are opting to selling only plots after doing only development works in housing societies.

According to him under the government of Imran Khan the construction sector has been promoted as an industry to facilitate the flagship project of PTI to construct 5 million houses and growth in construction activities. “It is aimed to provide home to unsheltered and provide employment to the unemployed. But the rapid inflation and growing construction material cost have made the task impossible. Because to have a home for lower income group is not possible, due to the more than 50% rise in material prices”, he argued

Cement Prices Increased

Pakistan cement manufactures have raised the price of cement citing particularly escalating of dollar rate and international coal prices. However, the factor of ongoing extra-ordinary inflation in the country cannot be ruled out in this regard.

 The Lucky Cement the leading cement manufacturer and exporter in Pakistan has notified this week that the company is up to increase the price of cement by Rs. 30 per bag. In their press release it is stated that the increasing trend of cool prices internationally combined with dollar rate appreciation, fuel, electricity charges and transportation costs have resulted in increasing the production cost of cement by a considerable margin.

It is nee dto mention that with the increase of Rs. 30, the price of a 30 Kg. bag has shot up to Rs. 600 per bag now.

Brick Kilns Closures

The Gujranwala district administration attempted a crackdown on brick kilns and industrial units involved in polluting environment and causing smog this week. Addressing the anti-smog meeting, the District Commissioner said special teams have been formed at district and tehsil level to take action against units causing pollution and smog.

 He also directed all Assistant Commissioners (ACs) of the district to launch crackdown with the teams of Environment Department and Police and said the ACs should ensure that all brick kilns in the district were converted to zigzag technology. Besides he also directed that agriculture department should inform the farmers about the adverse effects of burning crops’ residue.

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