Regularising katchi abadis: Move towards draft bill launched

Regularising  katchi abadis: Move towards draft bill launched

ISLAMABAD: In the pursuance of the Supreme Court order, the Expert Working Group (EWG) and officials of Balochistan’s relevant departments decided to develop a draft bill with consultation of Local Government and Rural Development Department (LGRD) of Balochistan and Law Department to propose the suggestion for National Policy regarding regularisation of katchi abadis.

The top court in its earlier order dated April 20, 2016 directed the Balochistan government along with other provinces and federation to prepare the comprehensive report of EWP to formulate a national policy to address the issues of katchi abadis and rehabilitations of homeless inhabitants.
According to the reply submitted by Balochistan province, the draft bill for regularisation will follow the principles including upgradation of the pre 1985 katchi abadis may continue while hazardous slums will be relocated and formation of new slums will be discouraged by exercising strict development controls.
The reply stated that in all government housing schemes, adequate plots for low income people may be reserved to offer them housing at affordable prices in the province while city and district governments may prepare housing plans to cater to the current and future housing needs for low income groups on incremental basis at affordable cost.

It added that building regulations, buildings by laws and planning standards may be revised to permit incremental development and lowering of planning standards to make it cost effective for low income groups.

The Balochistan katchi abadis (Regularization and Development) Act, 1987 contains several sections including Funds, Establishment of Directorate, Submissions of Reports and Establishment of Re-development Cell which are relevant for incorporation in the draft bill for formulation of national policy with slight changes.

However, it stated that in order to develop a Short Term Plan, estimates for fund allocations will be required to be indicated in the Action Plan for each katchi abadi as such respective provincial departments should provide complete details to EWG about slums in their respective provinces, total number of dwellings, population, total areas, location adding funds for land acquisition will also be required.
The Action Plan will include complete details of katchi abadis, province wise, along with rehabilitation plans with estimated requisite funds and allocations in federal and respective provincial PSDPs. Provinces, CDA and Ministry of Housing and Works should immediately prepare institutional support projects which would pursue implementation of Action Plans and ensure continuity of the rehabilitation process.

A long term Action Plan will include a detailed survey as data collection, detailed hazards and vulnerability assessments, legal issues, population date, livelihood, commercial possibilities, responsibilities, expectations from federal government, provincial authorities and Capital Development Authority and funding requirements.