Quetta City, Proposed Master Plan

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Quetta City, Proposed Master Plan

Abdul Latif Kakar : 

The mountain-ringed, Quetta city needs a comprehensive master plan to ensure the solution of problems faced by citizens and address the mega question of climate change. Through the proposed plan, scarce resources would be transparently and rationally utilized to make it a better living city in the country. For the first in the history of the province, the Urban Planning Development (UPD) under the leadership of chief minister Balochistan, Jam Kamal Khan has started the preparation of the master plan.

Geographical location, looming threat of natural calamities including earthquakes, drought, and floods, the need for making a comprehensive master plan for Quetta city is growing. Rather, it is now indispensable to make this plan, before it is already late.

Geography and Soil 

Four main units may describe the soils of Quetta i.e. (1) piedmont plains (very deep and well-drained soil) (2) piedmont basins (3) salinity and alkalinity (4) gravelly piedmont fans and aprons bordering the mountains and plains.

The central part of the Quetta valley is covered by a soil that ranges from sandy loam to silt loam. This type of soil is good for crop production. At the margin of the valley near foothills, the soil consists of sandy loam, mixed with pebbles and rock fragments and is suitable for vegetation.

In the Hanna valley, the greater part of the valley floor is covered by barren rock bout crops of low relief and dry mala bed. The soil is restricted to the narrow banks and low terraces along the mainstream.

However, the nature of the soil in Belili is silty clay which is not suitable for cultivation. Similarly, the Chiltan surface has soils that are predominantly gravelly loams. The vegetation on these soils si mainly Haloxylon which provides poor grazing for livestock.

Soil erosion 

As far as soil erosion is concerned, both stream erosion of soil and wind erosion is occurring in the district. The stream erosion takes place in the piedmont plain along the banks and beds of streams. Such streams are Sariab Lora, Hanna river, Habib Nallah near Hudda. Wind erosion occurs in the valley.

This all requires a review of the existing plans and documents and preparation of the digitized base map of Quetta with a protocol for its updating. A review of existing policies, procedures, plans studies conducted by donor agencies, and other relevant data. Current and future population trends need to be reviewed.

Transportation, mass transit, and city traffic management and monitoring system, housing commercial, and industrial land use evaluation of the existing condition of buildings and housing schemes should be thoroughly reviewed. To be precise, the city needs a master plan on an emergency basis to address the looming threat of climate change and natural disasters.

Quetta City, Proposed Master Plan

The author is currently serving as the secretary urban planning and development department government of Balochistan 

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