On Tuesday, the Supreme Court (SC) ordered the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to include climate resilience and sustainability in its town planning and policies in order to protect the people’s basic rights to life, dignity, and property.
“It is high time that our urban planners prioritise the climate aspect in their development strategies to solve the triple planetary problems of climate change, air pollution, and loss of biodiversity,” Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah wrote in his decision.
According to the court’s decision, climate change may have a detrimental effect on a person’s quality of life in an urban environment, violate that person’s dignity, and deprive them of their property rights or the capacity to fully enjoy their property.
According to the court’s decision, urban development authorities must take adaptation, climate resilience, and sustainability into account when making policy decisions in order to fulfil people’s fundamental rights.
The emphasis was on Justice Shah’s statement that “urban development authorities must ensure that their plans for urban development support adaptation, climate resiliency, and sustainability.” The judge said, “The authorities must consider climate change before recommending a development strategy or amending the master plan.”
The court found that because increased traffic from people and vehicles is likely to have a negative impact on the environment, any conversion of residential areas into commercial zones should be prohibited without adequate assessment and corrective measures.
According to the court’s ruling, it is essential to regulate land usage for urban development in the spirit of planned urban growth.
According to Justice Shah, the optimal present and future uses of geographically distinct land areas known as zones are comprehensively proposed based on social, economic, environmental, infrastructure capacity, aesthetic, and other relevant considerations.
According to the ruling, urgent contemporary issues like climate change, environmental degradation, food and health safety, air, water, and noise pollution, soil erosion, natural disasters, and desertification and flooding that have a significant impact on public health would logically be included in the concept of public welfare.
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