World Earth Day to Early Completion of Diamer Bhasha Dam; Infocus Weekly Briefs

by M. Wasim

24 April 2022

World Earth Day observed in Pakistan

World Earth Day was widely observed March 22 in Pakistan. This year the theme of the day is “Invest in Our Planet”. Earth Day is a global event that works to encourage and raise awareness of climate change and environment protection.

“Invest in Our Planet” – Earth Day 2022

“Climate change is directly or indirectly affecting human lives”, in his message, the Chairman of Senate Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani conveyed the importance of the environment, being highlighted all over the world. The Chairman Senate has also appealed to the citizens of Pakistan to support “Earth day” by showing love to the Planet in true spirit and with great fervour.

PM Shehbaz Sharif seeks Diamer-Bhasha Dam’ early Completion

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif visited the construction site of the Diamer-Bhasha Dam in GilgitBaltistan this week and asked the authorities concerned to expedite the work to complete the project by 2026-27 instead of the scheduled time of 2029. The prime minister agreed that it was a gigantic task and assured allout support from the federal government to complete the project as early as possible.

Speaking on the occasion, the prime minister also said the 4,500-mega-watt project was of immense importance and would serve as a future lifeline for the country`s economy, augmenting the power generation and boosting agriculture activities. Diamer-Bhasha would have a storage capacity of 8.1 MAF, including live storage of 6.4 MAF, and irrigate 1.23 million acres and generate 18,100 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of power annually.

Construction Work continues on Malir Expressway

Chief Minister Syed Murad All Shah this week directed the local government department to complete a portion of 39-km-long Malir Expressway up to Qualdabad in the next eight months. The chief minister chaired a meeting to review the pace of work on the expressway project. He was informed that construction work on the Malir Expressway was in full swing and so far 15-km earth work right from Jam Sadiq Bridge to Quaidabad had been completed, but there were some land issues, which needed to be resolved.

Malir Expressway
Malir Expressway; More Baneful than Beneficial

The project includes the development of 38.75 kilometres 3×3 lane expressway with controlled access along the Malir river starting from Korangi Creek Avenue (DHA) and ending at Karachi-Hyderabad Motorway (M-9) near Kathore via the existing Link Road. The proposed expressway will provide speedy access to main housing schemes along the route, reducing the commuting time from Korangi Creek Avenue (DHA) to Superhighway (M-9) to only 25 minutes.

Air Pollution cuts down Peshawar’ Life Expectancy

A study on air pollution in the provincial capital reveals a reduction in life expectancy and said the residents were losing 2.3 years of their life to the higher particulate matter. The report of the study on `Status of Air Pollution in Peshawar` has been formally launched this week. The report was produced by the Peshawar Clean Air Alliance with NGO Sustainable Energy and Economic Development.

UN Climate Change Report 2022 calls to reduce Emissions

`The Air Quality Life Index estimates that citizens of Peshawar can add up to 2.3 years to years to their life expectancy if PM2.5 levels meet the WHO guidelines,` the study says. The report also says Pakistan was the most urbanised country in South Asia, which translated into a significant portion of the national population impacted by the climate change.

Agricultural University & WWF-Pakistan signs MoU

Sindh Agriculture University, Tandojam, and World Wide Fund-Pakistan have inked an agreement to conduct joint research on green business projects for climate change, tree planting, better cotton production and organic farming. The two organisations agreed the other day to cooperate with each other on action research and development and coordinate project activities in Sindh.

Priority areas for research were highlighted from both sides in agricultural education extension, indigo conservation, rangeland and wetland management and opportunities for investment for green loans to develop industry-academia linkages. The WWF-P would also sign a MoU with the University for land development, tree plantation and technical support and simultaneously, the faculty and students would be involved in research and internship programmes.

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