According to the legal definition, an amenity plot is a public property allotted by the government and/or concerned development authority in a particular region. These types of plots can only be used for the construction of government offices as well as the establishment of public welfare facilities, such as hospitals, worship places, educational institutions, burial grounds, parking lots, and different types of recreation spots.
A lot of people aren’t familiar with the concept of amenity plots in Pakistan. According to the laws in the country, amenity plots should only be used for public welfare purposes otherwise it would be considered an encroachment. Also, the development authorities in Pakistan can rightfully demolish any illegal construction.
Did you know amenity plots are also considered very important in shaping up the sustainable future of our cities? Wondering why and what does the local law say about these properties and their illegal use? Well, we have tried our best to answer all these questions in this post, so make sure to read it till the end.
Amenity Plots in Pakistan: How Are They Connected With the Sustainable Future of Our Cities?
Amenity plots may have a very major role to play in the sustainable development of our future cities. Coming up with sustainable infrastructure models is the only effective solution to make our densely populated metropolitan areas more environmentally friendly and productive.
While living in our sustainably developed cities, along with vertical developments, we would be heavily relying on recreational spaces within the urban centres. This is why the importance of amenity plots could never be undermined.
Here are some different ways we can efficiently utilise these government-allotted pieces of land to promote the concept of sustainability in urban centres. Take a look!
Plantation of Urban Forests
The concept of urban forestry is one of the best solutions to make the infrastructure of our large cities with crowded urban centres eco-friendly. The more amenity plots there are, the more urban forests we could grow in a city. PM Imran has already introduced an initiative according to which more than 50 Miyawaki-style forests will be planted and grown in Lahore.
Development of IT Parks
Pakistan is one of the youngest countries in the world. A majority of its youth is already serving in the Information Technology (IT) sector. Our sustainable future greatly relies on the growth of the IT sector. An amenity plot can also be converted into an IT Park, which can be used to research, develop and test new technologies.
Such facilities would also help us to experiment and work on the concept of more environmentally friendly digital solutions that could help us reduce our carbon footprint. The Pakistan Software Export Board has already introduced the concept of IT Parks in Islamabad and similar facilities have also been established in other major cities of Pakistan including Karachi and Lahore.
Setting Up of Renewable Energy Plants
Even if a metropolis is growing vertically following the sustainable development model, its energy requirement would continue increasing year after year. This is why we would be needing more and more clean and alternative energy sources to effectively fuel our growing cities.
Instead of transporting electricity from long distances, we can convert amenity plots within our cities into small renewable energy plants. Depending on the location and availability of natural resources like wind and sunlight, we can install wind turbines or solar panels to generate 100% pollution-free electricity and tend to our lifestyle needs.
Establishment of Research and Educational Facilities
Since amenity plots are for public welfare, they can always be converted into research and educational facilities. The government and other concerned organisations can use these places to educate people about the environmental challenges and to conduct research on products we use in our daily lives and their harmful effects on nature. Spreading awareness in the general public about climate change and ways to reverse could help us build a strong foundation for our sustainable future.
In a nutshell, amenity plots can be used in a variety of different ways in coming up with a more energy-efficient and sustainable infrastructure for our future generations.
Laws for Amenity Plots in Pakistan
Like every other property type, there are laws in Pakistan for the protection of amenity plots. One clause of The Sindh Disposal of Urban Land Ordinance, 1999 says, “ No amenity plot shall be converted to or utilized for any purpose other than the purpose for which it is.”
Like Sindh, the province of Punjab also recognises and protects amenity plots. A clause in The Disposal of Land by Development Authorities (regulation) Act 1998 mentions, “No public utility area or public amenity plot in a housing scheme shall be converted to any other use.”
Similarly, the development authorities in other regions of the country also allot amenity plots only for public service, which clearly means that using them for residential or commercial purposes is strictly prohibited.
Latest Updates on Amenity Plots in Pakistan
Due to mismanagement of the development authorities, the majority of amenity plots in Pakistan’s largest city, Karachi, are being used as commercial and residential properties. This irregularity in the development pattern of the city was pointed out by the President of Pakistan Dr. Arif Alvi in June.
Anti-encroachment drive in the city is in full swing. On the direct orders from the Supreme Court, illegal properties across Karachi are being demolished. The President of Pakistan met the affectees of this operation to listen to their concerns. He also advised the builders to act more carefully and responsibly when dealing with such sensitive matters.
Serious actions are required to be taken by the concerned building and development authorities to demolish illegal constructions on amenity plots in all major metropolitan areas of the country so that they could be used for public welfare.
This was everything you needed to know about amenity plots in Pakistan and the important role they could play to make our cities more sustainable. So, what role do you think the authorities could play to put an end to the misuse of amenity plots in the urban centres around the country? Share your thoughts with us at email@example.com.
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