Weekly Infocus Briefs

by M. Wasim

September 26,2021

Nesla Tower to be razed

The Supreme Court this week dismissed a review petition against its earlier order to demolish a 15-storey building Nasla Tower at Shahrah e Faisal and directed the Karachi commissioner to start the demolition work after one month. In June, the SC bench, comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan and Justice Qazi Mohammad Amin Ahmed, had ordered the demolition of the building as a part of it was encroaching on the land meant for a service road. Infocus has already reported the order in earlier blog.

The Apex court had also directed the builders to refund the amount to registered buyers of residential and commercial units within three months.

Mohsin Sheikhani becomes Chairman ABAD

Prominent real estate developer and Patron-in-Chief of Allied Panel Mohsin Sheikhani has been elected as Chairman of the Association of Builders and Developers of Pakistan unanimously for the term of 2021-2022. Mohsin Sheikhani earlier served ABAD as Chairman four times earlier.  Veteran builders Hanif Memon, Altaf Kantawala and Sufian Adhia were elected as Senior Vice Chairman, Vice Chairman and Chairman Southern Region of the organization respectively. Eng. Akber Shaikh was elected as Chairman Northern Region and Qamar Zaman was elected as Vice Chairman Sub-Region Hyderabad.

The new office-bearers of the ABAD will take charge of their offices from 1st October, 2021.

Court asks Ravi Riverfront’ Master Plan

The Lahore High Court has expressed displeasure at the government for starting the land acquisition process of the Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project much before the project’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) approval. The Court, during a hearing with Justice Shahid Karim in chair, directed the Punjab government to present the master plan of mega real estate development scheme.

On behalf of the petitioners against the project, Advocate Sheraz Zaka told the court that the Ruda itself admitted in its reply that the project’s EIA was still pending approval before the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The judge directed the government to produce the master plan or else it would face the consequences on the next date of hearing on Sept 29.

New WHO Guidelines on Air Pollution

The World Health Organisation strengthened its air quality guidelines on Wednesday, saying air pollution was now one of the biggest environmental threats to human health, causing seven million premature deaths a year. The new guidelines recommend lower air quality levels for six pollutants, including ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide. The other two are PM10 and PM2.5 — particulate matter equal or smaller than 10 and 2.5 microns in diameter.

The UN health agency last issued air quality guidelines, or AQGs, in 2005, which had a significant impact on pollution abatement policies worldwide. The guidelines aim to protect people from the adverse effects of air pollution and are used by governments as a reference for legally binding standards.

New Cement Factories in Punjab

Punjab government has issued 22 no-objection certificates (NOCs) for the setting up of new cement factories. Chief Minister Usman Buzdar says the new cement factories will generate jobs for millions of people and result in uplifting and ensure economic development in the backward areas.

A study earlier conducted declared areas around Kallar Kahar as `negative` for the setting up of cement factories as the underground water had fast depleted. However officials argued in a press briefing the salt range had been found as an ideal location for the setting up of cement factories as almost all raw material including limestone, clay and gypsum potential was available.

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