STAFF REPORT IBD: There is an increasing demand and stress from the stakeholders to develop viable plans for making towns and cities well-planned so as to make them sustainable engines of economic growth while ensuring natural environs and resources remain intact.

Urban planners, environmentalists and development experts pointed out this while addressing to members of different civil society organisations including officials of different government departments and ministries here on the occasion of the World Habitat Day.

“Today cities are confronted with mounting pressures of growing population, rapid urbanisation and hazards of climate change, but what is sorry to note that our building and drainage in the cities are not designed to cope with these emerging challenges,” said Federal Secretary of the Climate Change Ministry, Mahmood Alam, while addressing a seminar here.

He said that Pakistan by 2030 will have approximately 55 to 60 million population added to its urban areas. And, the growing urbanisation would lead the cities to play an exceeding important role in the national uplift. Given the realization, it is felt that surging urbanisation and industrialization will place urban environments under virulent pressures.

Director-General (Environment) of the Climate Change Ministry, Jawaid Ali Khan urged the business leaders, corporate sector to join hands with the government to improve basic life amenities and services in cities.

Earlier, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations, Timo Pakkala, Country Programme Management of the UN-Habitat, Siamak Moghaddam, Former Member Senate of Pakistan Saadia Abbasi, Chairman of the Regional Planning Department of Peshawar university Dr Amir Khan, also spoke at the event.

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