Karachi’s Bundal Islands development will benefit people in job and business growth

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Prime Minister said that in the wake of rising demand in the Karachi city’s housing, development of Bundal & Buddo Islands is very important.

Development of Bundle & Buddo Islands will give tremendous job & business opportunities to people of Sindh as well as increase the revenue of Sindh government, because of tourist destination and business hub.

These islands are small islands located in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Karachi. The Bundal and Buddo islands, along with reclaimed land, are spread over some 12,000 acres or 49 square kilometers. Bundal, pronounced Bhandar by local fishermen, is a small island and a twin island of Buddo, also known as Dingi. The well-known and scenic Churna islands are also located near Bundal.

For this purpose, on Aug 31, 2020, the President of Pakistan promulgated the Pakistan Islands Development Authority Ordinance where under the two islands, the Bundal and Buddo islands, both in the coastal waters of Karachi, were placed under federal control and jurisdiction. 

The ordinance enables the establishment of the Pakistan Islands Development Authority by the federal government with its head office at Karachi.

The prime minister is the patron of the authority and is empowered to give general policy directions to the authority. A policy board of five to 11 members appointed by the federal government shall, among its broad and wide powers, “establish and maintain strategic directions of the Authority”.

All acts of the authority are subject to the “control” of the federal government and the federal government may “revoke, suspend or modify” any acts or proceedings of the authority.

A non obstante clause reaffirms the paramount supremacy of the authority and the ordinance: the provisions of the ordinance shall have “effect notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force”.

The authority and the policy board are tasked with the responsibility for the reclamation, master planning, urban planning, and spatial planning for the islands.

Pakistan Islands Development Authority (PIDA) aimed at developing barren islands in the territorial waters of the country.

“The Pakistan Islands Development Authority Act, 2020,” through which the “Pakistan Islands Development Authority” established for the development of barren islands in the territorial waters of the country, and to undertake residential/infrastructure projects in these islands, which would contribute towards revival of fifty plus allied industries thereby generating large scale skilled employment opportunities.

About Pakistan Islands Development Authority, the prime minister was told that the environmental and master plan studies would start in January.

In partnership with the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) a programme was being formulated to ensure employment of fishermen related with the Islands and for the protection of maritime habitat.

Imran Khan, while expressing his satisfaction over the progress made on the Bundle Islands, stressed that all stakeholders would be taken on board for the success of the project.

The Prime Minister stressed on the need of highlighting positive aspects of the projects through an awareness campaign.

On the other hand, Sindh Govt filed an case in Sindh High Court. The SHC accepted the request to conduct the immediate hearing of pleas challenging the federal government’s alleged takeover of islands and PIDA Ordinance. Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Arshad Hussain Khan are hearing the case.

Whereas, a joint study was conducted by the Institute of Space Technology, World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan (WWF-P), and Society for Environment and Mangrove Protection Welfare Association, which has revealed that the mangrove cover on Sindh’s coastal belt has been growing by an average of 3.74 percent annually, comparing depletion around the world.

The study reviews the growth of mangroves from 1990 to 2020 in five geographical pockets, classified as the Indus delta, Sandspit, Sonmiani Khor, Kalmat Khor and Jiwani.

Mangrove forests are one of the most productive ecosystems on earth, also useful for climate change mitigation and adaptation. They act as natural fortresses, providing protection against tsunamis and cyclones, in addition to contributing towards keeping creeks and water channels clean by acting as a buffer against sea intrusion and soil erosion.

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