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Empowered civic bodies can facilitate masses: Shahid Rasheed Butt

Islamabad, March 29, 2015 (PPI-OT): Patron Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders Shahid Rasheed Butt on Sunday suggested steps to empower civic bodies to facilitate rising urban population facing lack of civic facilities. Pakistan is the most urbanised country in South Asia with infrastructure and social services unable to cope with the issues like food, health, water supply, shelter, housing, environment, sanitation, drainage, overcrowding and traffic congestion, he said.

Shahid Rasheed Butt said that increasing population and migration has triggered urban growth rate to 4.6 while counting refugees will push the figure up. Half of the urban population is based in eight cities of Pakistan with majority having inadequate access to basic facilities, he added.

The business leader said that out-dated laws including building by-laws have been hindering money making initiatives making job difficult for the city managers which in turn keep masses in dejected. Some laws hinder municipalities from joint ventures with private parties for projects like land development, housing schemes, construction of hotels, commercial plazas and parking plazas to have sustainable income, he noted.

He observed that urbanisation has been resulting in urban poverty and increasing slums making them breeding ground for social problems while many municipalities continue to brave perpetual financial crisis which cannot be resolved by selling plots only.

Pakistan is to become fourth most populous country on the planet by 2050; therefore government should stop giving smaller weight to urban issues to empower city administrations to overcome problems, he suggested. There is a pressing need for an urban economic and social development strategy that can provide employment and economic security to its growing population, demanded Dr. Butt.

For more information, contact:-
Jahangir Akhtar
Secretary General
Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders and Small Industry
Office No, 9 Block E, Super Market, Islamabad
Cell: 0344-5111174

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