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Pakistan News

Published Date: Aug 29, 2013

Management of Peri-urban areas neglected by both rural and urban administrations

The management of peri-urban areas is neglected by both
rural and urban administrations because they are located beyond both
rural and urban boundaries of cities in zones that are generally not
identified as specific entities of planning" mutually agreed by Pakistan
and Indian students during a webinar.

In this regards, a webinar titled "Rural to Urban Transition and
Their Peri-Urban Interface:, Mapping, and Understanding Peri-Urban Area
in India and Pakistan" was organized by Sustainable Development Policy
Institute in collaboration with South Asia Consortium for
Interdisciplinary Water Resources Studies (Hyderabad, India) and
East-West Center (Honolulu, Hawaii).

SDPI is working with South Asia Consortium for Interdisciplinary
Water Resources Studies (Hyderabad, India) and East-West Center
(Honolulu, Hawaii) to study governance issues in peri-urban areas and
what consequences peri-urbanization causes to the environment and
health. Under the said project the two partners have completed National
Status Reports.

The reports seeks to develop mutual interest and relationships around
the topic of rural to urban transition and peri-urban interface in
South Asia students have been engaged in the two countries to present
the National Status Reports in a cross-border dialogue. Students from
India and Pakistan gave their presentations.

Anjal Parakash, Executive Director SACIWaters, India opened the
session by introducing the organization and highlighting the importance
of the newly developed concept of the peri-urbanization. He also
debriefed about the project they are conducting in collaboration with
SDPI.

Qasim Shah from SDPI Pakistan said that this joint project has
overcome the border hindrances and it is effective for a long term
relationship. It is great that Indian students are presenting Pakistan’s
problem of peri-urban and Pakistani students is having a privilege to
present peri urban issues in India. Further he added that advocacy
issues in both countries needs to be highlighted and resolved.

While giving her presentation, Ms. Nithiya from India presented her
study saying that unfortunately due to the growth expansion of Pakistan
per capita availability of water has decreased to 1100 cubic meters (m3)
per person per year in 2007 from 5300 m3 in 1951. She said that there
is no basic or formal waste collection system operating in the
peri-urban areas.

The lack of proper waste disposal mechanism is a pressing matter as
it caused fecal contamination of ground water. In addition, industrial
waste is destroying agriculture land that drains flow through, for
example Hudiara Drain. "The concentration of nitrogen oxides in the city
is ten times higher that set out standards by WHO", she added.

Mr. Sudhir from India explained about the health and governance
issues in peri-urban areas of Pakistan. These problems are both
consequences of serious institutional and governance deficiencies in the
system.

According to him, WHO reports that Pakistan falls short on most of
social development indicators i.e. health, sewerage etc. specifically
when compared with other countries of similar per capita income. "The
guiding principles for peri-urban areas should be a balance between long
term and short term policies. The involvement of NGO’s, community
based, and private organizations are required. Most of the peri-urban
are going to face a major problem of waste disposal" he said

Muhammad Zeeshan from Pakistan spoke about the definitions of the
peri-urban areas. ‘Peri urban is not the proximity to towns or village
rather it is the coexistence of both rural and urban characteristics, he
explained. He also added that peri-urban needs not to be on the
outskirts of the city, it can be located anywhere within or outside the
city.

M. Hamza Abbas described the socio-economic drivers in per urban
areas. Slum rehabilitation and weak government has caused peri-urban
areas. Further he added that policies for setting up special economic
zones and boost to outsourcing industry should be revised to solve the
land and industrial expansion in India. Intensive use of the automobile
for daily commuting is also causing damage.

Asma Butt from Pakistan discussed that in India environmental factors
being affected by peri-urbanization are solid waste management issues,
land degradation, expansion in population, water drainage, sewerage
issues and health problems. It causes the reduction of natural
resources, poor quality of life, wide spread diseases and wrong
treatment of solid waste.

Mariam Shabbir Abbasi from Pakistan shared the environmental issues
caused by peri-urbanization. She also mentioned the poor state of
sanitary condition prevailing in the peri-urban areas of Patna,
Guwahati, Chandigarh, Chennai and Ahmedabad. She stressed that the
environmental depletion have not only affected the human health but has
threatened the existence of animals and trees. She also spoke about the
initiatives taken by various NGO’s to address the issues of waste
management.

Muhammad Adnan from Pakistan recommended that there is a need for a
legislation regarding solution of peri-urban governance issues. They
should have a separate body to be constituted for resolving conflicts of
rural-urban authorities.

Junaid Zahid from Pakistan presented the policy recommendations of
the study. He said that the capacity of government authorities to
regulate economic activities is weak in India. The relationship between
elected local governments and traditional authorities can be quite
critical thatswhy both urban and rural authorities needs to collaborate.
Local government and creating institutional structure can cause
improvement.

During discussion, Prof. Sheela Prasad, from University of Hyderabad
India said that peri-urban is a zone between the suburbs and extension
of urban areas. Today in India especially according to mega city
context, peri-urban has become a zone of transit where dominant activity
continues to be agriculture.

Mr. Arvind Susarla from University of Hyderabad India said that the
characteristic of peri-urban are varying from country to country so we
cannot have a uniform definition of it.

While concluding the session, Anum A. Khan from SDPI Pakistan
described that peri-urban area is different in terms of place, concept
and process. The requirement of this part is different from urban, rural
and slum areas and this angle needs to be addressed by policy makers.

Problems should be addressed at the earliest because the issues would
be aggravated in 3-5 years of time. She also stressed that the
definition of the peri-urban must not be too wide so as to ensure that
the area under the peri-urban is not over-lapping any boundaries.