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URBAN RESOURCE CENTRE Karachi

Activity report, January - June’ 2010

 

 

 

 

The community activists from the settlements along railway tracks are holding a meeting at URC office to discuss their action plan. These settlements are facing evictions threats as government is planning to develop Karachi Circular Railway.

 

 

 

 

 

Contents

 

 

Highlights        

 

 

1.0       Act as watch group

 

 

1.1       Water supply

1.2       Sewerage

1.3       Transport and Traffic Management

1.4       Lyari Expressway

                          

 

 

2.0       Housing Rights and Eviction Watch

3.0       URC Forums

4.0       Youth Training Program

5.0       URC’s partner organizations in other cities

6.0       Networking and Exchange  

 

6.1       Interaction and information sharing

6.2       Institutional Development of CBOs

 

7.0       Research

8.0       Publications

9.0       Documentation

10.0    Training Group

 

 

Appendix

 

  • List of URC’s publications and documents

  • A brief Introduction of the Urban Resource Centre

                       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Highlights

 

 

  • The communities living along railway lines in Karachi have rejected the government proposed land for the resettlement. They have now identified three locations within the city for their resettlement. They are negotiating with the government for an acceptable resettlement plan.     

 

  • The URC conducting surveys of the settlements which are facing eviction threat. To strengthen community lobbying against forced evictions a documentation process of people’s investment in their settlements on housing and infrastructure initiated. Case studies of 3 more settlements were published.

 

  •  URC holds regular discussion forums on major urban issues, during this period four discussion forums were organized. The proceedings of two forums were printed.  

 

  • URC regularly holds experience sharing workshops for CBOs. During current reporting period three workshops were held and six community based organizations shared their work with other NGOs and CBOs. This is a process for experience sharing and learning from each other.

 

  • On the basis of CBOs presentations, the case studies of 6 CBOs were printed for wider circulations.

 

 

 

 


1.0       Acting as a watchdog on major urban issues

 

URC plays the role of a `watchdog' group in the city's planning and development scene. In this respect, it has worked on a number of issues, currently it is involved with the following:

-          Water supply

-          Sewerage disposal

-          Transport and Traffic Management in Karachi

-          Lyari Expressway Project

 

The details of some current involvements are explained in the following pages:

 

 

 

1.1 Water supply

The OPP-RTI recently conducted a research on the drinking water supply situation in the city. The findings of the study were presented in forum held at URC.

 

 The study identified the key priority Issues:

  • Siphoning water from the bulk distribution

  • Electricity breakdowns

  • KWSB’s organizational difficulties

 

The study also suggested solutions such as:

          Siphoning has to be stopped

          Metering of bulk supply is essential

          Independent power supply is needed

          Resolution of KWSB’s organizational issues

 

During the current reporting period a forum was held on 'Tap water for all and cost of using bottled water'. The discussion of the forum showed that on one hand services of tap water are declining and on the other hand bottled water rapidly increasing due to various reasons. Besides depriving the people tap water, the bottled water is also creating numerous health and environmental problems.  See details of forum in forum section.

 

 

 

1.2 Sewerage

The city government has approved Karachi Sewerage Plan S III (KSP – S III ). The KSP-SIII will be implemented through the city government’s finances in various phases. The Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KW&SB) will be the implementing agency for the plan.

 

URC hold forums to understand implementation process of the KSP – S III . During the current reporting period a forum was held on the Lyari development package. A part of the KSP – S III also fell under this package.  

 

 

 

1.3       Transport and Traffic Management in Karachi

URC has been focusing on the issue of transport and traffic management in Karachi .

 

Presently the government is working on two proposals which are:

  1. Revitalization of Karachi Circular Railway (KCR); under this, the existing railway network of the city (which is not functional right) will be rebuilt.

  2. Introduction of rapid bus transport for the city.

 

 

URC has obtained the details of these proposals and monitoring further development on these issues. URC is more interested in an efficient and cost effective transport system for the city, which would benefit poor commuters directly.

 

The Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) is also a vital project for the city but it is involved with the resettlement of poor communities. There are 35 informal settlements located along Karachi 's railway tracks, having a total number of 21,344 housing units. All these settlements are part of the network of communities living along railway tracks in Karachi . This network (Karachi Circular Railway Affectees Action Committee) assists its member communities in their struggle to resist evictions and to obtain secure tenure rights. The network holds regular meetings in different settlements, to give information about land regularization policies and to discuss new eviction threats from the Pakistan Railways.

 

The URC obtained the details of the Circular Railway plan in March 2009, and organized several meetings with community activists and community leaders to analyze the plan and discuss the serious questions about resettlement. The URC also organized a number of exchange meetings between railway community leaders and communities which had faced eviction for the Lyari Expressway project. These meetings and exchange visits were very useful to understand problems experienced by the newly resettled families in Lyari expressway case.

 

The URC is working with the railway communities to study and update the documentation of railway settlements. URC is now compiling case studies of these settlements and is printing these studies, which show how much the people and the governments have already invested in these settlements. These case studies are very good tool for the communities to lobby for their rights. They present these documents in the meetings with government.

 

In April 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held a public hearing, as part of the process of assessing the environmental impact of the Karachi Circular Railway project. Over 800 community people showed up at the hearing, but only 60 were allowed to attend, along with 150 other participants from the city, NGOs and government. During the hearing, the community people presented their case, and they were well-equipped with photos, maps and case studies. The EPA finally set up a 12-member "experts" committee to look into various aspects of the Karachi Circular Railway plan, and this committee included three members from railway communities.

 

During the current reporting period the railway network was engaged in the following activities:

 

Pakistan railway selected a land out side of the city for the resettlement of KCR evictees. The community activists visited the locations. On 31st March 2010 a meeting of the community activists was held at URC to discuss Pakistan Railways proposed land for their resettlement. According to community activists the proposed resettlement site is away from the city. This will increase their transportation cost, besides great possibility loosing their livelihood and their children may also loose their education.  Therefore community unanimously rejected the proposed site for their resettlement. It was also decided in the meeting that:

i.                                     The community will inform the Pakistan railways and other concerned government departments in writing about their reservations.

ii.                                   The community will identify empty land within the city for resettlement.  

iii.                                 The public gatherings will be held in various settlements on this issue.

iv.                                  The community will also continue their lobbying to reduce the number of evictees by reducing the distance from track.

 

In April 2010 the community has identified three different locations within the city for their resettlement. The community sent a letter to the Pakistan railways and other government agencies regarding their decision on resettlement.     

 

7 public gatherings were held in different settlements to inform the communities about this situation.

 

URC supported the communities in documentation and mapping of their settlements, this enhances their negotiation power with the architects of the KCR plan. 

 

URC will continue to lobby for a public transport system, which will facilitate and benefit the majority particularly the urban poor.

 

 

 

1.4 Lyari Expressway

The work on Lyari expressway was started on 21st January 2002. The government claimed to complete it within 30 months (by end of July 2004). A seven kilometer section of the expressway is yet to be completed. The work on this section has been stopped as the communities refused to leave their houses.

 

The project’s initial estimated cost was Rs. 7.5 billion but excessive delays and corruption have pushed the cost up to Rs. 20 billion.

 

The recent surveys showed that the city government has demolished 16,542 housing units to make way for this controversial project. Besides those, 4,225 commercial units (including shops, factories etc) were also bulldozed.

 

The resettlement process of the affected communities of the project lacks transparency and community participation, besides creating numerous hardships for effected communities. The recent surveys showed that the government is out of funds to compensate or resettle further remaining families. On the other hand most of the resettled families sold their land in the resettlement area and went back to the city.

 

According to recent survey there is around 7,418 houses still need to be demolished to build the remaining parts of the expressway. URC supports the network of Lyari Expressway communities in their lobbying against their forced eviction. The remaining communities are actively resisting their displacement. These communities suggested changes in the expressway project’s design, which will prevent demolition of their houses.

 

During the current reporting period the city government restarted the demolition of further houses in the project area. Due strong resistance and protests from the communities these demolitions were stopped.   

 

A number of publications, videos, and documents were produced on Lyari expressway evictions. All these are available at URC.

 

 

 

 

2.0       Housing Rights and Eviction Watch Program

 

Evictions in Karachi ;

URC has been monitoring evictions in the city since 1992. The reported figures show that more than 40,900 houses have been bulldozed by various government agencies since 1992. As a result of these evictions 286,300 people have been displaced, including women, children and elderly. No compensations or alternatives in most of the cases were awarded to the victims of these demolitions.

                

During last six months no major cases of evictions were reported.

 

 

Documentation of the under threat settlements

In all the cases where evictions have taken place or where settlements are under threat, it has been observed that people need documentation of their settlements i.e. case studies that can be used as evidence for dialogue and negotiation. This can strengthen people’s resistance.

 

Documentation of the existing sanitation, water supply systems, schools, clinics and block maker’s yards. There is an assessment of peoples and government’s work and the investments, which shows immense community work. This information, used as evidence for advocacy, has been an important tool facilitating the adoption by the government, of the realistic sewage disposal plan for the city. Need has therefore been felt to add to the documentation on Katchi Abadis, the information on the status of land, housing, its value and investments i.e. additional information about the settlements that can assist people in resisting evictions and negotiating tenure.

 

During the current reporting period the survey of the following settlement has been completed and case studies were printed:

 

  1. Bilawal Jokhio Goth

Bilawal Jokhio Goth is located in Gulshan Town Karachi. It has 1,179 housing units with a population of 10,574. The community has spent over Rs. 343.1 million on housing and infrastructure development of the settlements. Where as the government has spent Rs. 2 million for the provision of electricity to the settlement. The settlement is constantly receiving evictions threats as some relevant government department refuse to grant land ownership to the community.

   

  1. NTR Colony

NTR colony is located on Pakistan railways’ land in Saddar town. There are 843 housing units with a population of 6,322. The community has invested over 257.6 millions on housing and infrastructural development of the settlement. Whereas the government has invested Rs. 1.9 million on paving of the lanes/streets.  The settlement faces eviction threats as railways needs the land for the extension of the tracks. 

 

 

  1. Moria Khan Goth

This is an old settlement located on railway land in Shah Faisal town. There are 1,248 housing units in this settlement with a total population of 11,070 people. The community is facing eviction threat from Karachi circular railway project. The community has invested over 1801.1 million on housing and infrastructural development of the settlement.

 

 

The case studies of other settlements printed recently include:

    • Umer Colony No. 1

    • Kausar Niazi Colony

    • Hasan Aulia Village

    • Chaman Iqbal Colony

 

The purpose of these case studies:

  1. Strengthen peoples’ efforts to secure housing

  2. Informing media, professionals, government agencies, NGOs and CBOs so as to bring forth the reality.

 

In the process enabling community members to come together in forums, moving towards efforts to speed up the provision of land title.

 

The above are efforts to influence government policy so as to enable the poor in securing their housing.

 

Settlements along railway tracks in Karachi face evictions threat

There are 35 informal settlements of poor communities located along Karachi 's railway tracks, with a population of 21,344 housing units. Now all these settlements are facing eviction threats as government proposed a new plan for Karachi Circular Railway (KCR). URC is working with the network of railway colonies and providing them information, documentation and technical support to negotiate with government on their housing rights. Please see details in section 1.3.

 

 

 

Huts on Fire

URC has also been documenting incidents of fire in Katchi Abadis (informal and low income settlements) of Karachi . A total number of 3,009 huts were gutted in different settlements since January 1997. These incidents have rendered more than 19,676 people homeless. 52 minors and 35 adults were also burnt alive in these incidents, besides a number of severe physical injuries and lost of household goods.

 

Incidents of fire in Karachi reported in last six months

  • 35 huts were gutted when a fire erupted in Tayyab Goth in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Block C-9  on 30th April 2010. Five people, including two boys and two women, sustained burn injuries.

 

  • 250 huts in Shanti Nagar near Majeed Para in Gulshan Town were destroyed in a fire which engulfed the area on 20th March 2010. A child died and several people were injured in the fire.

 

  • Eight huts were gutted as fire erupted in huts in Mehran town of Korangi , Karachi on 9th January 2010. A minor boy was burnt alive in this incident.

 

  • 12 huts were reduced to ashes by a fire that broke out in a settlement along the main University Road in Gulistan-e-Jauhar on 2nd January 2010.

 

Two main causes are identified for these incidents; one natural and the other planned. The planned incidents are those, in which the land mafia is involved. To draw attention towards fire incidents in Karachi , URC circulates reports containing facts and figures on the issue to the press, NGOs and government agencies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.0       URC Forums

 

To encourage interaction between different development sectors of the city, regular forums are held at URC, where various groups come in contact with each other. This promotes collective thinking, decision making and actions on major urban issues. URC documents the proceedings of these forums regularly.

 

During the current reporting period, the following forums were held:

 

 

Forum on “Lyari Development Package”

This forum was held on 13th March 2010 at URC office.  Mr. Shafiq ur Rahman Paracha, project director Lyari development Package presented the details of the project through a multimedia presentation.

 

Mr. Paracha presented the details analysis of the current situation of the area. According to him water supply, sanitation, communication (road network), health and education are major areas which are being focused under this package.


He also said other problems included continuous encroachments on open spaces and general negligence in maintenance of the seven parks and twelve playgrounds in the locality.

 

The government has approved a plan under this package to improve conditions of the area. Mr. Paracha also presented the details of the progress made under this program. The water, sewerage and electricity lines were already replaced and now construction of roads is going on.  The repairing work of education (schools and colleges) and health (dispensaries, clinics and hospitals) facilities is also underway. The government is also upgrading parks and play grounds in the area.


The program was followed by an interactive question and answer session. The participants stressed the need for community participation and integration for addressing issues including health, education and infrastructure.

 

Arif Hasan, chairman Urban Resource Centre presented the concluding remarks on the occasion. According to him development under certain package will not bring long lasting solutions to any settlement. It is therefore very important to establish a research and training based institute. Such institute can carry out continuous research and initiate capacity building measures for the communities to resolve their problems. For a sustainable development it is essential to build a sense of partnership and participation among the communities.       

 

A report of the forum is available on request.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forum on “Tap water for all and cost of using bottled water”

This forum was held on 28th April 2010 at URC office. Mr Naeem Sadiq a renowned environmentalist and writer presented an overview of drinking water situation in Karachi . According to him water is a basic human right which is being taken away from us. Through a slide presentation he showed the statistical data which proved that the bottled water business is flourishing in the city, whereas tap water services are on decline.

 

Bottled water for drinking was first introduced in Pakistan in 1968, and while the worldwide growth of bottled water was 24 per cent per annum; it was 40 per cent per annum in Pakistan .

 

According to a recent study showed that the 12 out of 22 bottled water brands in Pakistan have been providing contaminated water.

 

Bottled water means environmental degradation of the worst and involved the wastage of precious resources. Around 200 billion plastic bottles are produced across the world every year and only 20 per cent of them are recycled, which is perhaps why the developed world, which is short of landfills, has found the developing world to be an ideal dumping ground of plastic waste.

 

One liter of bottled water in Pakistan costs 30 times more than the same amount of tap water. Four factors push the demand for bottled water: exaggerated fear of tap water; the greed of the corporate sector; seduction of mineral water bottles and corruption of the government. 

 

The forum was attended by CBOs/NGOs activists, students and journalists. The participants also shared their views and observations on the subjects.

A report of the forum is available on request.

 

 

 

Forum on “Rehabilitation of the Street Children”

This forum was held on 26th May 2010 at URC office. Mr. Rana Asif Habib, president of the Initiator Human Development Foundation (IHDF) presented the details of his NGOs work on the subject.

 

A study conducted by the IHDF showed that there are over 15,000 children in Karachi who live on the streets. Around 66 per cent of these children ran away from home due to violence at home, in schools or at the workplace. When they take to the streets, around 45 per cent of them earn their livelihoods by beggary; 13 per cent by commercial sex, whereas others are involved in selling drugs, shop lifting, pick pocketing and other odd jobs such as serving at small restaurants, garbage-picking, car washing and polishing shoes.

 

These children are facing many problems. They are also at a great risk of HIV/AIDS if forced into prostitution. Most of these children become drug addicts and alchoholics. The girls are more vulnerable than boys, and are routinely kidnapped off the streets, making it very difficult to trace them.

 

The IHDF provides shelter, vocational training, rehabilitation and medical facilities to children who have nowhere else to go.

The government makes no effort in finding the children that go missing every year, despite the thousands of complaints that are lodged at the police stations. The children living on the streets have no identity cards and therefore they are unable to get welfare facilities that should be provided to them by the state. Even it becomes very problematic for them to access education and health facilities without identity cards.

 

Despite being a signatory of the United Nations for protection of children’s rights, Pakistan has yet to draft a law on the issue. The approval of child protection bill has been pending for six years.

 

The participants of the forum also shared their views on the subject, and showed great concerned over dilemma of these children.  

 

 

 

Forum on “Environmental Pollution in Karachi ; present situation and a way forward”

This forum was held on 10th June 2010 at URC office. Dr Iqbal Saeed Khan, renowned environmentalist and the former director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) made a detail presentation on the subject.

 

Dr Khan said that there are four main causes of air pollution in Karachi city which includes; pollutant emitting vehicles; followed by use and burning of plastics which release extremely harmful dioxins; industries; and the rampant use of power generators. He gave detail reasons and causes for increasing pollution in the city.

 

He said that there are piles of solid waste that has no place to be dumped in or outside the city. The city generates over 8, 000 tons of waste every day. There is no proper landfill site in city. Karachi ’s solid waste is dumped in the outskirts of the city near some villages, from where the toxins accumulate and seep through the soil thus polluting underground water.

According to him the city has around 500 hospitals and none of them have a proper waste disposal mechanism. These hospitals dispose their waste in the municipal waste, which creates numerous health problems.

The industrial waste is another environmental pollutant. There are almost 4,000 industrial units in the city that discharge about 2,000 toxic chemical byproducts. These byproducts are not just destroying the environment but are directly affecting people living in industrial areas.

The city also lacks sewerage treatment facilities. Around 400 million gallons of sewage water are discharged into the sea everyday in Karachi without any treatment. This is rapidly destroying our marine life.

There are 300 laws on environment since the authorities do not implement them and the public is simply not aware of their existence.

 

After the presentation participants took part in the discussion and expressed their view on the environmental issues of the city.

 

 

 

 

4.0 Youth Training Program

 

The program provides an opportunity to under and fresh graduates from universities and low-income settlements to involve themselves in the activities of URC and develop their orientation towards the changing realities of the urban context. To provide an incentive to the youth, more informal techniques are adopted during the training, which are based on field visits and self-learning. The URC staff supervises and guides their activities.

 

During the current period a group of 5 students from department of social studies of the Karachi University completed their one year internship at URC office. These students were assigned to prepare case studies of different settlements.

 

 

 

 

5.0 URC’s partner organizations in other cities

 

Lahore : Punjab Urban Resource Center (PURC)

PURC hold regular discussion forums on issues such as evictions, water supply, transport and public spaces. There is a regular interaction between PURC and URC Karachi. Information and technical assistance is being shared with PURC on day to day basis.      Now PURC has secured funding from Misereor and Water Aid Pakistan .

 

Partner organizations in other cities:

A number of other small organizations have been identified in different cities. These organizations are engaged in holding forums, documenting evictions and providing information to the poor communities. URC is in contact with these organizations and looking various ways to provide them financial and technical support.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6.0 Networking and Exchange

 

6.1 Interaction and information sharing

NGOs and CBOs from different parts of the city are in regular contact with URC. Information is shared with them on a number of issues that are relevant to the problems they have identified themselves. URC also inter-links community based organizations with other NGOs, Government, Media and Academics working in the same field.

 

Community Development Network (CDN)

The Community Development Network (CDN) holds regular meetings. During this period one meeting was held in Lahore . The meeting hosted by Saiban and PURC

 

This is a national network of OPP and URC partner organizations.  The CDN meetings provide an opportunity to members to understand each other’s work and to observe partners work on site, as the venue of the meeting is rotated among partners. Members discuss various development issues and trends.

 

Partners from various organizations presented new developments in their work, expansion of work, link up with government programs.

 

 

Joint Action Committee (JAC)

URC is also a part of an NGO Network called Joint Action Committee (JAC). This is a coalition of NGOs in Karachi .  The JAC is working on gender issues. This network holds regular seminars, workshops, public demos and interactions on gender issues.

 

Network of communities against forced evictions

Currently there are three networks of communities working against evictions:

  1. Network of communities effected by Lyari expressway project

  2. Network of communities living along railways of Karachi .

  3. Network of communities of Gujar Nala (drain) project 

 

These communities are facing eviction threats due to mega projects. They formed their respective community networks to lobby for the protection of their housing rights.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6.2 Institutional Development of the CBOs

 

CBOs, NGOs Contact

A total of 151 CBOs/NGOs in various settlements of Karachi were visited. This program was initiated by OPP-RTI and Urban Resource Centre (URC) has joined it. The basic objectives of these visits are to understand the activities and nature of their work.

 

Presentation of CBOs works

This is an experience sharing activity for the Community Based Organizations (CBOs).  Under this program CBOs make presentation of their work at URC office and share their working experiences with other CBOs and NGOs.

 

During current period six CBOs made their presentations in three separate workshops:

 

     i.            Dream Foundation Trust

   ii.            Insan Dost Welfare Association

 iii.            Anjuman Raza-e-Mustafasaw (ARM)

 iv.            Anjuman Warper Social Welfare Association

   v.            Slummers’ Welfare Organization

 vi.            Moria Goth Welfare Association

 

The presentations were followed by discussions on the work of CBOs in the city. This provides a good opportunity among community activists for mutual learning through experience sharing.  

 

More CBOs will present their work at URC. The presentation also gives an opportunity to the CBOs to develop presentation skills and through focused discussions develop an understanding of the relationship of their work to the wider issues of the city. The case studies of 45 CBOs were published the remaining ones are being prepared for the printing.

 

 

 

 

7.0 Research 

 

URC also regularly updates information on the following areas;

-Evictions in Karachi

- Karachi ’s Sewerage disposal Issues

-Water supply

-Lyari Expressway

- Karachi Circular Railway

 

Besides its own publications, URC circulates its research reports to the media and relevant organizations. URC’s members often present the outcome of the studies at various forums.

 

 

 

8.0       Publications

 

Case studies of the CBOs

During current period the following publications were printed

 

The case studies of the following community organizations (CBOs) were printed:

  1. Fikar-e-Nau Welfare Society

  2. Rifa Development Organization

  3. Moria Khan Goth Welfare Association

  4. Slummer Welfare Organization

 

The proceedings of the following forums were printed:

 

        i.            Gutter Baghicha by Nisar Baloch,

      ii.            Electricity Crisis in Karachi by Prof. Mohammad Noman

 

The case studies of the following settlements were printed during the current reporting period:

  1. Bilawal Jokhio Goth

  2. Moria Khan Goth

    iii.      NTR Colony

 

 

 

Facts & Figures (monthly facts sheet)

Since January 2010, URC has published 6 issues of the 17th volume of monthly Facts & Figures. URC has been publishing this newssheet in Urdu and English since January 1993. It is a monthly newsletter, containing information on major urban issues, i.e. housing, health, environment, education, urban services, economy and transport. This information is collected through news clippings, reports issued by government agencies and NGOs, and studies conducted by URC. The current issues of the Facts & Figures are now available at the URC web site.

 

 

 

 

9.0 Documentation

 

News Clippings

Major articles under each heading have been compiled into dossiers (sorted and separated heading-wise files) and updated up to December 2009. URC has been collecting news clippings and articles and providing facilities for different cross-sections of the society since 1991. Mainly researchers, students, journalists, academicians, institutions and libraries purchase these clipping files.

 

Since January 2006 URC has taken initiative to compile these news clippings in electronic form. The news clippings from daily Dawn, the News and Daily times are being downloaded from internet editions.  The news clippings are being collected on the following subjects;

Traffic & Transport Management

Housing & Land Management

Health

Education

Environment

Economics

Law & Order

Lyari Expressway

Eviction and Encroachment

Beaches, Parks and plantations

Water Supply

Sewerage

Solid Waste Management, Electricity,

CDGK & Local Body System and

Urban Services

 

 

A list of all documentation is available at URC.

 

 

 

Videos on urban issues

Video is a powerful medium for communication and for documenting projects and processes. URC has been collecting video archives, footages on various urban issues such as recycling of solid waste disposal, old city historic neighborhood, citywide sewerage disposal, water supply, transport and evictions. All of which will be useful for both as records of what is happening now and for taking future video films.

 

 

 

URC Library

The URC library has more than 5,000 government reports, books, research papers, magazines and newsletters on urban issues in general and on Karachi in particular. An average of 112 visitors use the library every month including researchers, students, journalists, community activists and training groups.  

 

 

 

Website

URC has developed its web site to extend the outreach of its information dissemination. The web address is www.urckarachi.org. The web site is being updated on a regular basis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10.0 Training Groups

 

Groups from CBOs, NGOs, government, press and other agencies frequently visit URC. They spend time at URC to understand urban issues and working of the centre. See list below:

 

Organizations

Jan June

Total Since July 01

 

Group

Members

Group

Members

URC replication/orientation national

-

-

16

47

URC replication/ orientation international

1

10

17

  128

NGOs and CBOs

11

27

194

  624

Educational Institutes / students

16

38

298

1,121

Government

3

11

25

  86

Press

12

12

195

  293

Total

43

98

745

2,289

 

 


List of publications and documentation available at Urban Resource Centre:

 

 

The case studies of the Community Based Organizations (CBOs) are available as a separate publications:

i.                     Case studies of 45 Community Based Organizations (CBOs) are available at URC’s Rs. 50/- for each.

Recently case studies of the following community organizations (CBOs) were printed:

        v.            Fikar-e-Nau Welfare Society Rs. 50/-

      vi.            Rifa Development Organization Rs. 50/-

     vii.            Moria Khan Goth Welfare Association Rs. 50/-

  1. Slummer Welfare Organization Rs. 50/-

  2. Gulshan-e-Bakhtawar Welfare Society Rs. 50/-

  3. Anjuman Falah-o-Behbood, Chaman Iqbal Colony Rs. 50/-

  4. Muzzaffarabad Welfare Society, Muzzafara’bad Colony Rs. 50/-

 

 

The case studies of the settlements are available in Urdu as separate publications:

I.                     Case Study of Pahr Gunj Rs. 50/-

II.                   Case study of Umer Coloy no. 2 Rs.50/-

III.                  Case study of Umer Farooq Town Rs.50/-

IV.                Case study of Wahid Colony Rs.50/-

V.                  Case study of Awami Colony Rs.50/-

VI.                Case study of Kausar Niazi Colony Rs.50/-

VII.               Case study of Umer Colony No. 1 Rs.50/-

VIII.             Case study of Hasan Aulia Village Rs.50/-

IX.               Case study of Chaman Iqbal Colony Rs.50/-

X.                   Case study of Bilawal Jokhio Goth Rs.50/-

XI.                 Case study of Moria Khan Goth Rs.50/-

XII.                 Case study of NTR Colony Rs.50/-

XIII.              List of Goths (villages) in Karachi Rs. 50/-

 

 

The proceedings forums printed:

i.                     Karachi Sewerage Improvement Plan S-III Rs.50/-

ii.                   Role of water Tankers in Karachi Rs.50/-

iii.                  Water Supply in Karachi : Situation/Issues, Priority issues and Solutions. Rs.50/-

iv.                  Active Organized People – Sustainable Development Rs.50/-

v.                    Gutter Baghicha by Nisar Baloch, Rs.50/-

vi.                  Electricity Crisis in Karachi by Prof. Mohammad Noman Rs.50/-

 

 

Urdu translations of the following publications are also available at URC:

i.                     Housing by the People

ii.                   Right to adequate housing

iii.                  Transport; Case study of affordably transport system in other cities.

iv.                  Understanding of Asian Cities; Case studies of the eight cities. 

v.                    Karachi beaches are available for sale Rs. 20/-

 

 

Facts & Figures (monthly facts sheet)

URC has been publishing this newssheet in Urdu and English since January 1993.

 

 

Books

1.       The scale and causes of urban changes in Pakistan by Arif Hasan Rs. 350/

2.       Hijrat’ by Arif Hasan and Mansoor Raza Rs 300/-

3.       A case study of Hawkers in Saddar Karachi Price Rs. 350/-

4.       The Scale and Causes of Urban Change in Pakistan by Arif Hasan Rs. 450/-

5.       Housing Crisis in Central Asia by Arif Hasan price Rs.120/

6.       Working with government by Arif Hasan price Rs.100/

7.       How Communities Organize Themselves (English version) by Kenneth Fernandes price Rs.50/

8.       How Communities Organize Themselves (Urdu version), by Kenneth Fernandes price Rs.50/

9.       Urban housing policies and approaches in a changing Asian context, by Arif Hasan price Rs.50/

10.    Community Initiatives; Four Case Studies from Karachi Price Rs.200/-

11.    Understanding Karachi By Arif Hasan with assistant from Muhammad Younus and Akbar Zaidi Price Rs.295/

12.    ‘Roshan Misalian’ Community Initiatives; Four Case Studies from Karachi Price Rs.200/-

13.    Housing for the Poor, Failure of Formal Sector Strategies by Arif Hasan Price Rs.295/-

14.    Solid Waste Management edited by Aquila Ismail Price Rs 100/- Also available in Urdu.

15.    Evictions edited by Aquila Ismail Price Rs 100/-  Also available in Urdu.

16.    Transport edited 2002 by Aquila Ismail Price Rs 250/-

 

 

News clippings and articles year wise files are now available from Jan 1992 up to Dec 2009.

 

  1. Solid Waste Management

  2. City Government 

  3. Electricity / KESC

  4. Water Supply

  5. Sewerage

  6. Environment

  7. Health

  8. Education

  9. Traffic & Transport Management

  10. Housing & Land Management

  11. Urban Services & Problems

  12. Law & Order Situation

  13. Economics

 

 

For more details please contact URc staff at 92-21-3438 7692

 

 


A brief Introduction of Urban Resource Centre

 

Introduction to URC, Karachi

 

URC Karachi has been functioning since 1989. It was initiated by professors and students of architecture, NGO and CBO representatives and members of academia. Its objective is to influence the planning and implementation process in Karachi so as to make it more environment and poor friendly.

 

Its activities in support of its objective are: i) to carry out research on urban issues from the point of view of low income communities and with their participation; ii) to analyse government programmes and projects from the point of view of stakeholders and interest groups, also with their participation; iii) to present these findings at public forums arrange by the URC in which government, NGO, community and stakeholder representatives are present; and iv) to make these findings public through the media so that they become a part of urban culture and thinking; v) to support communities and informal sector interest groups through information and guidance so as to help them in forming networks and presenting their claims and guarding their gains.  

 

So far, the URC has had a major impact on development thinking and culture in Karachi . The URC process has also led to the following. I) Karachi Mass Transit Project was altered to make it more poor and environment friendly; ii) the Karachi Circular Railway (which had been abandoned by the Karachi development plan) was marked for rehabilitation due to the URC’s efforts; iii) The Northern Bypass, which had also been abandoned, is now being constructed due to URC forums and information; iv) hawkers’ rehabilitation as opposed to their eviction has become an issue; v) the informal sector in solid waste management has now become an integral part of larger city plans for the sector; vi) a water and sanitation network consisting of professionals and communities has been created for monitoring government investments and plans; vii) a CBO-NGO network for sustainable housing has also been created; viii) due to URC efforts a US$ 100 million ADB loan was cancelled in favour of US$ 18 million OPP-RTI alternative proposal for the Korangi Waste Water Management Project; ix) 32 young graduates and community activists have so far work with the URC’s Youth Training Programme and 22 of them are now working with other NGOs taking with them the knowledge of the relationship between plan and poor communities.      

 

In addition, the URC has supported the Lyari corridor communities in their struggle against the Lyari Expressway, which is evicting them. It is also providing information to people opposed to the privatisation of Karachi ’s beaches and has been monitoring evictions and providing information to communities under-threat.

 

A number of groups in other Pakistani cities are desirous of establishing URCs in their cities. The URC Karachi is supporting these initiatives both financially and through training and monitoring. One such institution the Punjab Urban Resource Centre in Lahore has already consolidated and one in Rawal Pindi is in the process of establishing itself.

 

 

 

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