Islamabad - The ministry of housing and works has decided to form a task force to address the issues of Katchi Abadis and rehabilitation of inhabitants.

The decision was taken in a meeting held under the chairmanship of Secretary Housing and Works Shahrukh Arbab. According to recent estimates, nearly 50 percent of our population in major urban centres lives in slums, katchi abadis and squatter settlements.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan had directed that the provinces and CDA should give their input/ feedback as to how the problems of katchi abadis and inhabitants of these settlements can be addressed. The Senate, in its sitting held in August, 2015 had also urged the government to make appropriate strategy to evacuate the slum inhabitants and facilitate them in their rehabilitation.

While giving a presentation on the issue, Deputy Director General National Housing Authority Irfan Siddiqui said that there shall be no eviction till katchi abadis’ residents are re-located as per resettlement plans which will be prepared by the concerned land owning agencies (LOAs) in consultation with affected communities. The representatives of concerned provincial departments were directed to ensure integration of low-income groups and dwellers of katchi abadies and slums in the community and city structures.

During the meeting, formulation of implementation strategy of building code of Pakistan 2007 with special focus on disaster risk reduction was also discussed. Seismic provisions of the code provide uniform and methodical basis for providing economical ways of ensuring earthquake resistant design of buildings. Keeping in view the issue of non-implementation in the past, legislation for thorough enforcement and punitive actions to address building code violations were also discussed in the meeting.