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The News

Published Date: Dec 18, 2011


Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director, SDPI, has said that the global crisis of development demands us to review development paradigms and learn from the east and ensure sharing information between each other and compete on positive aspects instead of weapons and negative aspects.
Dr Suleri was speaking at the inaugural day of 3-day project inception workshop of 2-year Track-II Project on ‘Rural to urban transitions and the peri-urban interface: identifying, mapping, and understanding peri-urban areas in India and Pakistan’, organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), in collaboration with East-West Centre, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, and South Asia Consortium for Interdisciplinary Water Resources Studies (SaciWATERs), Hyderabad, India.
Dr Suleri said that conducting peri-urbanisation study between India and Pakistan is the need of the hour. He stressed that as problems faced by India and Pakistan are similar so their solutions are also the same. He said that joint research initiatives will bring our ordinary citizens closer to each other which is vital for normalising their relationship.
Dr Sumeet Saksena from the East-West Centre said there is no clear definition of ‘peri-urban’ and urged a working definition for South Asia to enable stakeholders to take care of basic services of citizens in these areas and hoped this process will also help to determine a research agenda for better governance of environmental and health issues in these areas.
Shams-ul-Mulk, former chairperson, Wapda, said that in the 21st Century, India and Pakistan have no other options but to cooperate with each other as both countries had same problems and same institutional frameworks for a very long time. Discussing massive unplanned urbanisation and availability of safe drinking water and health issues, he stressed that these issues are not ordinary ones and any further delayed response will make these problems insoluble.
Highlighting evolution of unplanned urbanisation, Daniyal Aziz, former chairperson, National Reconstruction Bureau, maintained that several structural problems involving legal, social, political and attitudinal aspects at various levels hampered the decentralisation process and delivery of municipal services at local level. Despite their exponential population growth, he said, several rural towns and villages could not be declared as municipal towns due to absence of fresh census and a will for investment which resulted into absence of municipal services in these areas.
Dr Anjal Prakash of SaciWATERs hoped that students exchange programme and water issues which had been central to their work will strengthen the project partners for more effective and result-oriented initiatives for peri-urban communities.
Dr Vaqar Ahmed of SDPI, Dr Vishal Narain of Management Development Institute, India, Dr Jefferson M Fox from East-West Centre, Dr Murtaza Bukhari from Government of Punjab, Dr Nuzrat Yar Khan and Dr Prakash Nellivat also spoke on the occasion.