Skyscraper in Lahore to Updated KPK Climate Change Policy; Infocus Weekly Briefs

by M. Wasim

3 April 2022

New Skyscraper in Lahore

Various federal civic agencies & provincial administrative authorities have allowed construction of skyscrapers to 750-foot high in the high-rise building zone of the Lahore Central Business District. “The approval of 750 ft. height is the epitome of grandeur in real estate and rather extraordinary in the construction sector,” says a senior official of the Authority.

High rises
Giant Skyscraper in Lahore

The Lahore Prime consists of 12 mixed commercial plots and out of these, five plots were auctioned in September 2021 with the approval of 500 feet height. However while ensuring the protocols of safe flight operations the provision for 750 feet construction height of the skyscraper was given to Central Business District Authority.

KPK Climate Change Policy Updated

The updated Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Climate Change Policy, 2022, has been published in a tabloid. The Policy calls for streamlining of climate change mitigation measures in various sectors of economy and development projects to achieve sustainable development and resilience to natural disasters. Following the 18th Constitutional Amendment, KP was the first province to develop a provincial climate change policy that year. The policy update also seeks to make the provincial climate change action consistent with the updated National Climate Change Policy (2021).

Climate change poses critical and significant challenges to Pakistan`s ecosystems, particularly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province that could only be addressed through bold and creative climate actions. The policy aims to work towards a host of objectives such as formulation of a more appropriate and province-specific policy consistent with Pakistan`s updated National Climate Change Policy, 2021, developing and strengthening an enabling environment for Pakistan`s nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to cut emissions and adapt to climate impacts and incorporate adaptation and mitigation strategies into major relevant sectors, policies, strategies, and plans, among others.

90% Karachi Wastes goes to Arabian Sea Untreated

In a meeting of stakeholders responsible directly or indirectly for controlling marine and harbour pollution the Director General of Sindh Environment Protection Agency revealed this week that more than 90% of industrial wastewater was going into the sea without treatment. He added the discharge of domestic sewage, toxic industrial effluent, port-related waste, dumping of solid waste, cow dung from cattle colonies and effluent of slaughterhouses into the sea are playing havoc with marine environment under the nose of different agencies and departments working in the metropolis.

The event, organised by the Sindh environment, climate change and coastal development department in Karachi. Participants in the meeting asked the provincial industries department to boost their efforts with regard to the installation of five combined effluent treatment plants in different industrial zones of Karachi, “which are to be made with the financing of both provincial and federal governments”.

Record High Steel Prices

Steel manufacturers has raised this week prices by up to Rs 8,000 second time in the month of April, which pushed the steel bar price to an all-time high of Rs 216,000 per ton. Companies attributed the price hike to a continuous and unprecedented bullish trend in the cost of scrap over the past month, the falling rupee and the rising cost of energy.

Growing Construction Cost makes Low-cost Housing Unviable

That has affected the construction activities across the country mainly due to the rising cost of all other building materials. Association of Builders and Developers’ chairman Mohsin Sheikhani said the cost of construction has risen by over 70% in the last year owing to soaring steel bar, cement, labour cost, paint, sanitary fittings, tiles, windows and door fittings, etc. He further  said the price of sanitary, tiles, doors and window fittings has swelled by 30-35% in the last year.

Rawal Dam’ Sewage Treat Plants without EPA 

A project of the Capital Development Authority under which sewage treatment plants were to be installed in the catchment areas of Rawal Dam is in doldrums after the validity of the financial bid expired. The CDA had opened financial bids of the environmental-friendly project in June last year, which aimed at eradicating contamination from Rawal Dam.

According to the plan, some sewage treatment plants were to be set up in lower Shahdara, Bari Imam and near Banigala as in their absence, Rawal Dam receives untreated sewage from unplanned localities in the catchment areas. However, an objection was raised by the Pakistan Environment Protection Agency, which stated that the environmental impact assessment of the project had not been carried out. As a result, the PC-I was approved after much delay, but in the process, the bid`s validity period expired last year.

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