HYDERABAD: Turning their attention to the physical fitness of the citizens, Sukkur district authorities have conceived a plan for the construction of walking and cycling tracks on the banks of canals.
The proposition was floated during a meeting of the resettlement and allotment committee for people displaced from houses built on encroached land on the banks of the district's canals.
"Once the inspection paths [for irrigation purposes] are determined, tracks for walking, jogging and cycling should be constructed," said Nisar Ahmed Siddiqui, the committee head and vice chancellor of Institute of Business Administration, Sukkur.
"We can also install solar panels on the embankments, which could generate around half of the city's required electricity," the educationist suggested, asking officials to work on a proposal for this. He further put emphasis on beautifying the canals located at Sukkur's entry points.
Siddiqui pointed out that in order to prevent the recovered land from being encroached upon again, it was necessary to plan schemes for the sites and to provide alternative housing to those who had been displaced.
He asked the Sindh irrigation department to remove the rubble of the demolished structures from the embankments and determine the right of way for irrigation.
The irrigation department's superintending engineer informed him that the task of clearing the sites of debris could take up to 90 days after the government disbursed the required funds.
Meanwhile, a sub-committee led by Sukkur deputy commissioner Rana Adeel was directed to formulate a draft policy for the allotment of plots over 200 acres allocated for displaced residents. Sukkur commissioner Shafique Ahmed Mahesar told the meeting that computerised balloting would be conducted to allocate the plots in a transparent manner.
Siddiqui asked the officials to develop the 200-acre colony in line with town planning principles and to ensure that all amenities and civil infrastructure are provided to the colony's residents. Adeel added that the scheme was being prepared under the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Housing Cell.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 20th, 2020.
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