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February 13, 2020

Sindh govt, NGO join hands for development of Nehr-e-Khayyam Park


February 13, 2020

The Sindh government and the (People and Nature Initiative (PANI), a non-governmental organisation, have signed an agreement to start the development work of the Nehr-e-Khayyam Park.

Speaking on in a meeting on Wednesday, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said his government has been able to start the work with PANI after a long struggle for an environment-friendly facility for enhancing the beauty of the area.

The meeting was attended by Sindh Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Shah, Advisor to CM Murtaza Wahab, Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar, Local Government Secretary Roshan Shaikh, water board MD Asadullah Khan, Karachi Development Authority DG Dr Syed Saif-ur-Rehman, architect Hamir Soomro, PANI President Shahid Abullah and secretary Jameel Yusuf. The agreement between the government and the PANI was signed during the meeting at the CM House. The signatories were PANI President Shahid Abullah, Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar, Secretary Local Government Roshan Shaikh, Asadullah Khan of the KWSB and Dr Saif-ur-Rehamn of the KDA.

PANI had proposed to clean the sewage water flowing into the canal through the indigenous, sustainable 'reed bed' technology which has been employed in many countries, including Pakistan’s Karachi.

According to a press statement, NESPAK will provide the engineering design for the project. On either sides of the one-kilometre-long canal, PANI has proposed to plant hundreds of trees and bushes and create jogging tracks and viewing decks, accessible to the public as a recreational facility.

“Under the leadership of the chief minister, this has been an excellent initiative for the youth of the country to participate as well as the many stakeholders who are endorsing this activity with both their time and expertise,” the press statement said.

In the meeting, the chief minister’s main concern was to treat the sewage water and prevent further pollution to create an urban forest in the City Centre for the public to enjoy in a green and environmental-friendly surrounding. “Migrating birds visiting the adjoining mangroves will also have a larger area to inhabit and breed.”

Barrister Murtaza Wahab, the CM's advisor on environment, and architect Hamir Soomro played a critical role in taking this initiative forward with the Sindh government, it said.

“Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar, initiated the clean-up for the project and Aftab Siddiqui, MNA PTI, carried out the initial drainage which catalysed the process of Nehr-e-Khayyam, which runs from Gizri crossing, alongside Boat Basin and up to the sea. For the last few years, sewage was being discharged into the stream and waste disposal along the banks further exacerbated the environmental hazard,” it said.

The chief minister said the Nehr-e-Khayyam Park would be a game changer for Karachi as a beautiful recreational space. “This is an ideal example of a public-private partnership that will be a trailblazer for other provinces to adopt across the country,” he said.

Jameel Yousif said a study was under way to initiate the development of the first Wetland Park adjacent to the Malir Naddi, as proposed by the chief minister. “This will be another innovation in the development of public spaces as environmental-friendly escapes for the people of the densely populated city, providing hospitality and welcoming with open arms all citizens of Pakistan”, he added.

The students of an adjacent school have been invited by PANI for a plantation ceremony which will take place on February 16 to kick off the project which will be inaugurated by the chief minister, the press statement said.

“PANI, formed in 2010, is a group of prominent citizens comprising of philanthropists, businessmen, industrialists, architects and engineers of Karachi concerned with the environment, sustainability and preservation of the eco-systems of the coastal areas in and around the city. PANI strives to find sustainable and low-cost, indigenous solutions to issues related to water, its treatment and disposal,” the press statement said. The chief minister assured the PANI team that he would be support and cooperate for the project.

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