Advocacy to Prevent Negative Effects of Two Urban Projects

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Akhter Hamid Khan Memorial Trust Rawalpindi

To prevent large scale evictions caused by the Lai Expressway and Urban Environment Project URC analyzed the original plan with experts and organizations that experienced similar situations. A survey was conducted in 896 houses to evaluate the cost of evictions, and potential activists identified in the communities. Committees representing the different areas discussed implications of these mega projects. The communities then addressed local authorities to defend their rights. URC has become the platform where all stakeholders come together to discuss main implications of these 2 projects for the poor. Some conclusions are: i) surrounding informal settlements will not benefit from the expressway because the exit and entries are distant; ii) Government would only compensate about half of the affected households at a very low price; iii) evicted families will have to move to far away areas where basic facilities like water, electricity, sewerage are not available. The Lai Expressway project is postponed because of social mobilization and more cost effective alternatives are being considered. URC will now focus on the Environmental Improvement Project Contact: Hamidullah