Investment priorities prepared by ADB-CDIA for KP cities presented to stakeholders for consensus

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PESHAWAR, May 22 (APP): A delegation from the Asian Development Bank and the Cities Development Initiative for Asia (CDIA) completed five day mission to Peshawar, Mardan and Abbottabad and held consultations with key stakeholders and discuss proposed investment priorities to unlock the potential of each city.
The Cities Development Initiative for Asia (CDIA), funded by the
Governments of Germany, with additional core funding support from the governments of Sweden, Austria, Switzerland and the Shanghai Municipal Government as well as the Asian Development Bank, is supporting the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in preparing 15-year City Development
Plans (CDPs) for the cities of Peshawar, Mardan and Abbottabad.
The CDIA is preparing the investment and strategy plans in close
coordination with Urban Policy & Planning Unit (UPU), Planning and Development Department, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as well
with key stakeholders in each of the cities. The visions for each of these cities were consensually agreed at workshops last month.
During the current round of meetings, the CDIA team presented a list of key sectors and initiatives for both immediate and long term investment. The proposed key sectors to be invested in provisionally include Water, sanitation, sewerage and drainage, Solid Waste Management, Transportation Planning and Traffic Management, Parks, Pedestrianization and Soft Urban Improvements and Urban Innovations and Smart City Approaches.
Each of these will be complemented by the necessary strengthening of
institutions, and developing their capacity to plan, manage, deliver and maintain improved services. Central to this is a shift in attitudes and behaviors so that citizens are treated as customers with the full protection of their rights as consumers. This is different from how they have been treated in the past by service utilities.
Azim Manji, team leader CIDA shared that the list had been prepared
after a rigorous consultation process undertaken by the CDIA, which included input and suggestions from all community stakeholders through various consultation workshops, surveys and focus discussion groups (FDGs) at city level.
He said that the recommendations reflect the vision, which citizens have
for the kind of city they want to live in and will ensure improved quality life for all city residents, including the vulnerable.
Kyoshi Kiyoshi Oswin Nakamitsu, Principal Urban Development
Specialist at the ADB, shared that Pakistan is one of the founding members of ADB and important partner. He thanked all stakeholders for showing strong ownership for the project. He also appreciated the strong leadership coming from CDIA and their successful partnership with the local government.
Nakamitsu highlighted that it was important to seek consensus on the
proposed investments and to ensure sustainability of the investments. It is for this reason that the ADB works on triangulation of government with civil society with business needs to ensure that investments are agreed and broadly consensual.
The stakeholders agreed on the proposed list but expressed the need to review these in more detail. The Commissioner of each of the three cities requested their office to organize an internal meeting with the stakeholders to review the proposed list and prioritise the projects. The city administrations have committed to revert with their final input and approval in a week’s time.
Neil Chadder, Program Head, CDIA said that the city visions stated
by the general public last month were very much aligned with the vision of the local government. “This is an excellent synergy to work with, as it shows a unified understanding and acceptance of the local city needs. It also gives us the needed consensus to work on what is most important so it can give the people the immediate impact, which they want to see and truly need”, said Chadder.
The team also conducted site visits to existing waste dumping sites,
transport terminals, overhead reservoirs and sewage treatment plants in the cities to assess the feasibility of the proposed investments.
The consultation workshops were organized by Urban Policy Unit, Planning and Development Department, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Cities Development Initiative for Asia (CDIA).