The Development of Rural Areas: in context of Master Plan of Islamabad and Urbanization

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Introduction

Islamabad, the renowned capital city of Pakistan, was designed by the Greek architect and town planner Constantinos Doxiadis. The aerial view of Islamabad presents the city in a distinguished ‘Grid-Iron Pattern’, expanding on the array of parallel lines emanating from the centre. (Hull, 502). The original Master Plan divided the city into five zones: In Zone 1, the Islamabad Capital Development Authority (CDA) was allowed to acquire land for purposes of development of the capital; Zones 2 and 5 were reserved for the development of housing societies; Zone 3 was classified as the Reserved Area; while Zone 4 included parks, educational institutions and agricultural activities. The city was planned as an exclusive administrative city designed for the country’s ruling elite (PIDE, 2020). The Master Plan, as revolutionary as it looked at the time of inception, was not as futuristic and practical in approach as it could have been. The planned city did not include a Commercial Business District in any zone(s) or a plan to expand the peripheral rural areas. Doxiadis called Islamabad a ‘dynapolis’, which means a dynamic metropolis extends unhindered into the future. However, he designed Islamabad on the sole premise of ‘exclusion’, in that each sector was excluded from the other, limiting people to their sectors with everything available within the confines of a particular sector (Hull, 2008). Perhaps, the ideology of the Master Plan infiltrated the people’s mindsets inhabiting Islamabad, reminiscing the dead city in its old glory, the unapproachable and exclusive but magnificent capital city of Pakistan.

This research article by the Iqbal Institute of Policy Studies will discuss the future development of rural areas in Islamabad, the possible socio-legal issues arising out of such development, and the zoning of Islamabad in urban space and expansion of the city.

 

Development of Rural Areas in Islamabad

Urbanisation is arguably the most critical issue of the 21st Century. In the context of Islamabad, the various reasons for the uncontrolled urbanisation include the exclusionary design of the city, lack of development in rural areas, outdated technologies used for agriculture, particularly in the context of agrarian economies like Pakistan, surplus capital being invested in housing societies, land acquisition or takeover by CDA for purposes of housing societies, and exploitation of the law. Recently, through the Minister of Planning, Development & Special Initiatives, Mr Asad Umer, the Government of Pakistan announced that they would improve the governance in rural Areas of Islamabad by re-structuring them based on Zones. This is a prodigious step towards humanising Islamabad and preserving its essence as the actual capital city of Pakistan. The rural structure of Islamabad comprises 23 Union Councils, including 133 villages, whereas the urban design shall consist of 21 Union Councils (UNICEF, 2020). It is disheartening to say that the state’s focus and functionaries have always been on developing the urban areas. The grave neglect of the rural areas is evident from a bleak comparison of the quality of life and basic facilities of the rural areas compared to the urban localities. One may argue that urban centres generate economic activity; however, for agrarian economies, the development of the rural regions is equally essential for the growth and prosperity of the nation as a whole. The rapid growth of population vis a vis the city’s expansion demands immediate action on the development of rural areas. The population of Islamabad in 2020 was 1,095,064, and it is estimated to grow up to 2.2 Million by the year 2030 (UNICEF, 2020). Moreover, there has been an apparent increase in the propagation of slums across the city and its rural areas, including Sihala, Barakahu, Tarnol etc.

These contributing factors point us back to the Master Plan of Islamabad, which needs a revision to accommodate the city’s changing needs. The original [exclusionary] Master Plan is not sufficient to sustain the rapidly urbanising city regarding the new spatial dynamics developing in the context of rural areas.

 

Redressal of Issues Arising from The Development of Rural Areas

As discussed, the development of rural areas is crucial to mitigate the issues arising from widespread urbanisation. However, the interplay of various social, legal, political and economic factors must be considered. First and foremost is the Right to the City; the original Master Plan of Islamabad conveniently excluded the rural areas and the underprivileged sections of the society. According to the imminent scholar, David Harvey, the incorporation of diverse social, economic and cultural aspects are essential in the production of urban space; making it a collective experience, rather than an individualistic or exclusionary reality, where everyone is ‘accepted’ and ‘incorporated’ in the space thus produced (Harvey, 2012). To this end, the right to the city becomes important in relation to urban space, and the city is the custodian of this right socially, politically and economically. Secondly, to develop rural areas, the government must protect the stakeholders’ interests while acquiring property(s) for such development. The government should learn from history and not repeat the injustices committed by the CDA for land acquisition in the 1960s at the time of the development of Islamabad. Thirdly, the implementation of the Islamabad Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2020, should be the priority for the government to streamline rural development. The government has also announced the consolidation of local government laws of Islamabad, where the power will flow from MCI, and CDA will act as a regulator. Therefore, it is imperative to develop the rural areas to control the impacts of urbanisation and haphazard expansion of the city and create a diverse social fabric; fitting for the most beautiful capital city of the world.

 

Conclusion

One of the most well-known planned cities in the world at the time, the Master Plan of Islamabad needs revision in the context of the city’s expansion and urbanisation. Islamabad was planned on a grid-like structure with green belts, public parks, educational institutions, housing societies and agricultural lands, divided into different zones. The Master Plan excluded the underprivileged communities as well as the rural areas. The disproportionate development and deteriorating rural sectors in the agricultural economy of Pakistan is one of the most pressing reasons for the uncontrolled urbanisation in Islamabad. The announcement of the Government of Pakistan to develop the rural areas of Islamabad Divide and by dividing them into zones, is a stepping stone for rural development, which entails proper planning and a futuristic approach to avoid making mistakes of the past.

 




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KMC initiates development projects worth Rs1.1bn

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KARACHI: The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) has initiated several development projects worth Rs1.1 billion.

Karachi Administrator Murtaza Wahab further briefed on the development projects, which include rehabilitation of street lights at a cost of Rs1.5 billion in the same financial year, and several plantations drive to improve the environment of Karachi.

The authority approved the construction of the road from Machli Chowk to Canopy at the cost of Rs800 million. The authorities have been directed to complete expansion joints of Karachi’s bridges.

The authorities have been working to open the historic Burns Garden to the public after renovations. In addition, Aziz Bhatti Park in East District and Sir Aga Khan Park will also be renovated. The street lights on Mai Kolachi Road will be installed for Rs200 million. Moreover, teams are working to repair the fish aquarium. 

While speaking on occasion, a project for the construction of roads and patchwork across the city was also announced. For this the city has been divided into three zones, as the plan is underway.

The Solid Waste Management Board has been tasked with the garbage collection and cleaning work in Korangi District this month and in Central District from next month. 

On occasion, Metropolitan Commissioner Syed Afzal Zaidi, Director General Parks Junaidullah Khan, and other officials were also present.

For news and blogs, visit Graana.com.




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Development of Rural Areas: in context Islamabad’s master plan and urbanization

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Introduction

Islamabad, the renowned capital city of Pakistan, was designed by the Greek architect and town planner Constantinos Doxiadis. The aerial view of Islamabad presents the city in a distinguished ‘Grid-Iron Pattern’, expanding on the array of parallel lines emanating from the centre. (Hull, 502). The original Master Plan divided the city into five zones: In Zone 1, the Islamabad Capital Development Authority (CDA) was allowed to acquire land for purposes of development of the capital; Zones 2 and 5 were reserved for the development of housing societies; Zone 3 was classified as the Reserved Area; while Zone 4 included parks, educational institutions and agricultural activities. The city was planned as an exclusive administrative city designed for the ruling elite of the country (PIDE, 2020). The Master Plan, as revolutionary as it looked at the time of inception, was not as futuristic and practical in approach as it could have been. The planned city did not include a Commercial Business District in any zone(s) or a plan of expansion of the peripheral rural areas. Doxiadis called Islamabad a ‘dynapolis’, which means a dynamic metropolis expanding unhindered into the future, however, he designed Islamabad on the sole premise of ‘exclusion’, in a way that each sector was excluded from the other, limiting people to their sectors with everything available within the confines of a particular sector (Hull, 2008). Perhaps, the ideology of the Master Plan infiltrated the mindsets of the people inhabiting Islamabad, reminiscing the dead-city in its old glory, unapproachable and exclusive, but strikingly beautiful capital city of Pakistan.

This research article by the Iqbal Institute of Policy Studies will discuss the future development of rural areas in Islamabad, the possible socio-legal issues arising out of such development, and the zoning of Islamabad in urban space and expansion of the city.

 

Development of Rural Areas in Islamabad

Urbanisation is arguably the most critical issue of the 21st Century. In the context of Islamabad, the various reasons for the uncontrolled urbanization include the exclusionary design of the city, lack of development in rural areas, outdated technologies used for agriculture, particularly in the context of agrarian economies like Pakistan, surplus capital being invested in housing societies, land acquisition or expropriation by CDA for purposes of housing societies, and exploitation of the law. Recently, the Government of Pakistan, through the Minister of Planning, Development & Special Initiatives, Mr Asad Umer, announced that they would improve the governance in rural Areas of Islamabad by re-structuring them on the basis of Zones. This is a prodigious step towards humanizing Islamabad and preserving its essence as the true capital city of Pakistan. The rural structure of Islamabad comprises 23 Union Councils, including 133 villages, whereas the urban structure comprises 21 Union Councils (UNICEF, 2020). It is disheartening to say that the focus of the state and its functionaries has always been on the development of the urban areas. The grave neglect of the rural areas is evident from a bleak comparison of the quality of life and basic facilities of the rural areas as compared to the urban localities. One may argue that urban centres generate economic activity; however, for agrarian economies, the development of rural areas is equally important for the growth and prosperity of the nation as a whole. The rapid growth of population vis a vis the expansion of the city demands rapid action on the development of rural areas. The population of Islamabad in the year 2020 was 1,095,064, and it is estimated to grow up to 2.2 Million by the year 2030 (UNICEF, 2020). Moreover, there has been an apparent increase in the propagation of slums across the city and its rural areas, including Sihala, Barakahu, Tarnol etc.

These contributing factors point us back to the Master Plan of Islamabad, which needs a revision to accommodate the changing needs of the city. The original [exclusionary] Master Plan is not sufficient to sustain the rapidly urbanizing city with regards to the new spatial dynamics developing in the context of rural areas.

 

Redressal of Issues Arising from The Development of Rural Areas

As discussed, the development of rural areas is crucial to mitigate the issues arising from widespread urbanization. However, the interplay of various social, legal, political and economic factors must be taken into consideration. First and foremost is the Right to the City; the original Master Plan of Islamabad conveniently excluded the rural areas as well as the underprivileged sections of the society. According to the imminent scholar, David Harvey, the incorporation of diverse social, economic and cultural aspects are important in the production of urban space; making it a collective experience, rather than an individualistic or exclusionary reality, where everyone is ‘accepted’ and ‘incorporated’ in the space thus produced (Harvey, 2012). To this end, the right to the city becomes important in relation to urban space, and the city is the custodian of this right socially, politically and economically. Secondly, for the development of rural areas, the government must protect the stakeholders’ interests while acquiring property(s) for such development. The government should learn from history and not repeat the injustices committed by the CDA for land acquisition in the 1960s at the time of the development of Islamabad. Thirdly, the implementation of the Islamabad Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2020, should be the priority for the government to streamline the process for rural development. The government has also announced the consolidation of local government laws of Islamabad, where the power will flow from MCI, and CDA will act as a regulator. Therefore, it is imperative to develop the rural areas to control the impacts of urbanization and haphazard expansion of the city, and to create a diverse social fabric; fitting for the most beautiful capital city of the world.

 

Conclusion

Islamabad was planned on the pattern of grid-like structure with green belts, public parks, educational institutions, housing societies and agricultural lands, divided into different zones. One of the most well-known planned cities in the world at the time, the Master Plan of Islamabad needs revision, in the context of the expansion of the city and urbanization. The Master Plan excluded the underprivileged communities as well as the rural areas. The disproportional development and deteriorating rural sectors in the agrarian economy of Pakistan is one of the most pressing reasons for the uncontrolled urbanization in Islamabad. The announcement of the Government of Pakistan to develop the rural areas of Islamabad, and by dividing them into zones, is a steppingstone for rural development, which entails proper planning and a futuristic approach to avoid making mistakes of the past.

 




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PM for expediting development work on housing projects

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ISLAMABAD: While reviewing the progress of all housing projects, Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed the authorities to expedite work to ensure the timely completion of affordable housing projects.

The PM was further briefed on ongoing housing projects, including upcoming construction and housing projects under the Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority by Chairman Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority Lt General (retired) Anwar Ali Haider.

 

For news and blogs, visit Graana.com.




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Developing the World’s Largest Riverfront City – Ravi Urban Development Project

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Introduction

Located on the outskirts of Lahore, the Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project aims to develop the world’s largest riverfront city in Pakistan. The project, envisioned at the time of the country’s independence in 1947, was only seriously considered by the Government of Punjab 66 years later in 2013. The project aims to rehabilitate and develop the dying River Ravi into a perennial freshwater body, with high-quality waterfront urban development on the reclaimed and adjoining land. In August 2020, the Prime Minister of Pakistan also launched the Ravi Urban Development Authority that will overlook the entire process as the project is worth more than Rs. 5 trillion in value. Continue reading to understand the project’s objectives along with its timeline and impact on the people of Lahore and the real estate sector.

 

Lahore Urban Challenges

As rapid urbanisation occurred due to rising rural to urban migrations and population growth, people poured into cities to seek better opportunities. Lahore was no exception to this. The population of Lahore increased from 3.9 million in 1990 to 13 million in 2021 (Khan, 2021). This massive influx in the city’s population has caused a strain on natural resources and the environment while also resulting in the deterioration of the general living standards of the city’s residents. For instance, the city’s groundwater reserves are depleting at an annual rate of 1 meter. In winters, the city is covered with the smog that disrupts transport and endangers the lives of millions with poor air quality. Moreover, many industrial settlements have polluted the water sources with heavy metals, municipal waste, and industrial sewage. Realising the challenges of overpopulation and falling living standards in Lahore, the Ravi Urban Development Authority (RUDA) was formed in 2020 to overlook the formation of a well-planned city along the Ravi riverfront to release the mounting pressure on Lahore. It is a great step towards a clean, green, and secure future. Continue reading to get further insights on the game-changing project.

 

Ravi Urban Development Project as a Game-Changer

The Ravi Urban Development Project consists of developments on more than 100 acres of land, which will be converted into a state-of-the-art master-planned city in 6 decades. The project poses enormous environmental benefits and economic opportunities for local and overseas investors. It will be completed in three phases. The Ravi River will be cleaned in the first phase, and water filtration plants will be established to revive the river from heavy pollution and industrial waste contaminants. Groundwater will be replenished by establishing a 46 km long lake, which will help the earth absorb up to 1 billion litres of water daily. The lake will also provide 2 billion litres of clean water to Lahore city, fulfilling 50 per cent of the city’s water demand. An urban forest will also be set up during this phase of the project to ensure that all future developments in infrastructure do not have a tremendous environmental impact. The second phase will focus on roads and infrastructure developments, while the third phase will be geared towards setting up education, health, commercial innovation, government, and sports facilities (Randhawa, 2021).

Perhaps the most exciting part of the project is the green and sustainable nature of the entire initiative. Well, though-out urban forestry has also been made part of the project. Under this project, existing forests will be preserved while establishing a 100-acre knowledge park that will host several universities, making it a hub of knowledge and research. It is planned that more than 6 million trees will be planted in the city besides eco-ponds, wetlands, wildlife sanctuaries, theme parks, botanical gardens, and algae ponds. Therefore, it can be understood why the project is a welcome proposition for the local and overseas investors in the real estate sector. Nearly five thousand small and medium businesses will be established throughout the development. The Ravi Urban Development Authority will also provide an ecosystem for technological and media businesses to promote the project’s benefits locally and globally. The development of high-rise buildings consisting of more than 18,000 units will also boost the construction sector, creating thousands of job opportunities in more than 40 allied sectors (DailyTimes, 2021).

 

The Potential of Investing in the Ravi Urban Development Project

Pakistan’s prime minister has frequently emphasized the construction sector’s role in uplifting the country’s economy. The Ravi Urban Development Project will give new life to the construction industry and the economy, so the government has announced multiple incentives for the construction sector to facilitate capital flow, tax reductions, financing facilities, and simplification of relevant laws. In the future, the project will generate over 250 billion rupees in revenue, creating more than 260,000 jobs. Upon successful completion, it can be used as a model for other cities, such as Karachi, Gujarat, Jhelum, and Khushab. Consequently, it is anticipated that the project will bring much needed foreign direct investments and local industrial growth for the economy of Pakistan, revitalizing the real estate sector.

 

Conclusion

With the challenges associated with rapid urbanisation rising in Lahore, such as overpopulation and deteriorating living standards, the Government of Punjab decided in August 2020 to launch the Ravi Urban Development Project. The project aims to develop a state-of-the-art planned city along the Ravi Riverfront. The project is planned to complete in three phases. The first phase will focus on cleaning the river from all pollutants and establishing a nature park. The second and third phases are focused on infrastructural developments. The project will provide a much-needed boost to the construction sector of Pakistan, along with generating jobs and revenue from 40 allied industries. The project can be a great opportunity for local and overseas investors and can prove to be a game-changer for the economy of Pakistan.

 




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Central Business District: NLC to start development work

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LAHORE: In a bid to expedite the development work at the Lahore Central Business District (CBD), the National Logistic Cell (NLC) will initiate development work on the site.

In a meeting held between the officials of Lahore Central Business District Development Authority (LCBDDA) and NLC at the project site, CEO, LCBDDA Imran Amin gave a briefing over the scope of development work.

Speaking on the occasion, the CEO was of the view that various investors will be compelled to establish their enterprises in the district along with adopting the model of Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT).

In the pilot phase, the district authority has auctioned five commercial plots for Rs26.5bn which has resulted in the increase of revenues by 120pc than the envisaged value.

 

For news and blogs, visit Graana.com.




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PM says industrial development among top priorities

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan, on Tuesday, stated that industrial development was going to be a priority for the government to ensure all small and medium enterprises were provided with the opportunity to receive employment. 

Federal Minister for Industries and Production Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar briefed the Prime Minister on the projects that were currently underway. He also gave an overview of the 1500 actress industrial zone in Karachi and SME policy.

“Significant growth in large-scale industry is welcome, despite the corona factor and this is due to the government’s positive policies. Employment opportunities are being created in the country by the industries running at their full potential,” stated. 

 

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CM Balochistan approves over Rs7bn for development projects

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QUETTA: The Chief Minister (CM) of Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan Alyani has approved over Rs7 billion to complete various development schemes.

A sum of Rs7 billion has been approved to complete 135 road projects. The CM also allocated funds for the construction of low-cost housing schemes in five districts and ordered the authorities to submit the feasibility study for the project. In addition, 114 schemes will be worth Rs1.7 billion were okayed.

A total of Rs100 million were approved for the first ‘smart building’ under the provincial information department.

The CM sanctioned a sum of Rs1 billion each for 114 schemes to be developed for the Sports department – including a Sports Complex in Qila Abdullah and a Go-cart Track project in Quetta and the Poverty Alleviation Programme.

 

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Development projects worth Rs44bn initiated in Sialkot, Sahiwal

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LAHORE: Provincial Minister for Local Governments & Community Development (LG&CD) Mian Mahmood-ur-Rasheed, on Sunday, announced that the first phase of the Punjab Intermediate Cities Improvement Investment Programme was initiated and uplift projects in Sialkot and Sahiwal were underway at the cost of Rs 44 billion. 

 

He further mentioned that several other cities including Multan, Muzaffargarh, Dera Ghazi Khan, Bhawalpur, Rawalpindi and Sargodha would be added in the second phase of the project. 

 

In addition, it was also announced that the provision of basic facilities was the top priority of the government and was in line with the vision of the Prime Minister. 

 

Moreover, work was underway in order to ensure a stable water supply, provide a solid waste management system, facilitate proper sewage and provide street lights in 16 cities. The projects will cost Rs 34 billion. 

 

 

For more news and information, visit Graana.com 

 




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Infrastructure is an agent of economic development: PM

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan stated that infrastructure development, including the construction of roads, is an important agent for growth in a country. 

The Prime Minister presided over the meeting held to review the progress of the National Highway Authority (NHA). He highlighted the importance of good quality roads that would lower maintenance costs and the import of petroleum products. 

He also directed the relevant authorities to the timely release of funds to allow smooth connectivity. 

Several officials including Minister for Planning Asad Umar, Federal Minister for Communications Murad Saeed, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Jahanzeb Khan, Chairman NHA, Special Assistant Dr Shahbaz Gill along with other officials were in attendance. 

 

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Balochistan govt earmarks Rs24.5bn for Quetta Development Programme

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QUETTA:  The provincial government of Balochistan government has earmarked Rs24.5bn for the Quetta Development Programme to revamp the outlook of the city.

Under the programme, Quetta city will be provided new infrastructure facilities which include the provision of a new sewerage system, constructing footpaths, and enhancing the beauty of the city.

According to the details, the road infrastructure of the city will also be restored; Rs12bn will be spent on the widening of Sibzal and Joint road. Similarly, the government has also allocated Rs781mn for the construction of Prince Road.

As per the provincial government’s officials, Rs253mn has been set aside for the beautification of the city.

 

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CM for speeding up work on Ravi Urban Development project

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LAHORE: Chief Minister (CM) Punjab Usman Buzdar, on Tuesday,  directed the relevant authorities to speed up the development work on the Ravi Urban Development project.

The Chief Minister presided over the meeting on the project which reviewed the progress. 

He further mentioned that in the first phase, 44 thousand acres of land has been chalked out where an industrial zone on 6 thousand acres of land and three barrages with a storage capacity of 6 lac cusec water will be constructed. 

In addition, the project will be environmentally friendly and 60 lac samplings will be planted in order to curb environmental pollution. 

Several officials including Chief Secretary, Chief Executive Officer Ravi Urban Development Authority Imran Amin, Provincial Minister Housing Asad Khokhar, Principal Secretary to CM, Secretary Finance, Secretary Housing, Chairman P&D, Commissioner Lahore Division and Head of Special Monitoring Unit were in attendance. 

 

 

For more news and information, visit Graana.com 

 




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