‘Urban sprawl threatens environment, food security’

Former WASA MD says city expansion turning green fields into concrete jungles

Our Correspondent June 12, 2024
Experts say that the lush green yard that once used to be the major attraction in the vicinity of the mausoleum is slowly being deserted. PHOTO: ATHAR KHAN/ EXPRESS


The rampant expansion of cities is transforming lush green fields into concrete residential colonies, creating not only environmental problems but also exacerbating food security challenges.

This concern was highlighted by intellectual, writer and former MD of WASA, Rashid Ahmad, during the launch of his autobiography, "Gaon Se Shahr Tak."

The event, organised in collaboration with the Department of Public Relations and Publications at the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, featured notable guests including Vice Chancellor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan, former bureaucrat Muhammad Afsar Sajid, and Public Relations and Publications Principal Officer UAF Dr Muhammad Jalal Arif.

In his speech, Rashid Ahmad emphasized the need for sustainable construction practices, advocating for the use of soil and gypsum, which are environmentally friendly and better at regulating indoor temperatures.

He also addressed the critical water issue, lamenting the country's failure to build any large dams in the past 52 years despite having favorable opportunities.

Additionally, he suggested reviewing contracts with Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and purchasing electricity based on actual needs to alleviate the debt circular.

Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan praised "Gaon Se Shahr Tak" for its insightful discussion of personal experiences and national issues.

He stressed the necessity of formulating strategies to curb urban sprawl.

Muhammad Afsar Sajid lauded the author for presenting his life experiences and wisdom in an engaging manner, noting that the book provides valuable policy guidance at the government level.

Dr Muhammad Jalal Arif appreciated the book's reflection on rural life and its accessible language, which caters to the general reader.

Other speakers, including Shahzad Baig, Khawar Randhawa, Safia Hayat, Izhar Gulzar, Shabbir Ahmed Qadri, Samiullah, and Khawaja Islam, also commended Rashid Ahmad's contributions as the former MD of WASA and expressed hope for the prompt publication of the book's next edition.

They acknowledged his efforts, which have been recognised and appreciated by people from various walks of life.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 12th, 2024.


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