Tsunami risk & Retrieving Sindh’ Encroached Land; Infocus Weekly Briefs

by M. Wasim

02 January 2022

Risk of Tsunami to Pakistan

The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) in collaboration with United Nations Development Program in a workshop have warned that Pakistan faces potentially high tsunami risk with dual challenge; the natural disaster has high probability and, second, allows little response time as the triple junction known as the Makran subduction zone is located just 50 km away from Balochistan`s coast. Reports Infocus Editorial.

Tariq Ibrahim of the Met department, citing data generated with the help of simulation studies about its impact on Karachi, said one to two km area of the city`s coast was very vulnerable to damage. While the many tributaries of the Indus delta makes Sindh`s coast very vulnerable to tsunami threat. The Makran subduction zone, he pointed out, has potential to generate future tsunamis in the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean.

Retrieving Sindh Encroached Land

On the earlier orders of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the compliance reports about removal of encroachments from all government lands across Sindh and rehabilitation of those displaced due to the demolition drive around three nullahs of the city were filed in the apex court this week. The Sindh Board of Revenue in its report stated that it has so far retrieved 91% of encroached land of forest department, 75% of irrigation department and 54% of land owned by other departments and agencies of the federal, provincial and local governments.

While the secretary of local government and housing and town planning department asserted that a summary regarding rehabilitation of 6,500 affected people has been approved by the chief minister as well as by the provincial cabinet for resettlement comprising construction of two rooms dwellings on 60 square yards plots in Scheme No.45 Taiser Town.

Rudderless Environment Protection Agency of KPK

At a time when the climate related threats are multiplying across the region, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently rudderless without a permanent Director General and Environmental Protection Council, which is responsible for framing environmental related policies for the implementation of provincial environmental quality standards. Therefore it is unable to perform its regulatory duties as the environmental watchdog.

The provincial government recently removed the DG and assigned the office to a non-technical person. And, the council has not held a single meeting since the promulgation of the Environmental Protection Act, 2014.

Police FIR & raid to arrest persons behind Nasla Tower Construction

Following the orders from the Supreme Court the Ferozabad police lodged an FIR against the owner of the plot where the Nasla Tower was raised, a builder and all those officials of different government agencies and private organizations who helped and facilitated the illegal construction of the multi-storey residential building off main Sharea Faisal. While raids have been conducted, however no arrest has been made, so far, in connection with a criminal case registered against builder, owner and government officials regarding the illegal construction.

The Supreme Court also directed the Karachi commissioner to complete the demolition process of the 15-storey Nasla Tower within a week and asked the official assignee to attach the land in order to compensate the affected residents as the builders did not come forward to refund their money.

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