THE people of Karachi living in the vicinity of Boating Basin wish to draw the authorities’ attention to a blot on the city’s landscape called Nehr-i-Khayam. The name conjures the image of something beautiful and awe-inspiring like the Taj Mahal. However, reality is completely the opposite.
The 120-foot wide Naher-i-Khayam was meant to serve as an open tract of land and meant to be one of the major lungs of Clifton. Its function was to serve as a major storm water drain that would carry rain and/or tidal water (not sewage) into the open sea. Today, it is a major source of environmental pollution and disease in Clifton. One cannot pass near it without covering one’s nose.
During Benazir Bhutto’s tenure, her government decided to order its cleaning and beautification. However, some influential people had other ideas.
Through a KDA resolution it was decided to appropriate the Nehr to ‘generate additional funds’ and it was divided into eight plots for the construction of high-rise commercial and residential complexes.
The citizens of Clifton and the NGO Shehri have filed a case in the Sindh High court against the scheme to divide this Neher, and obtained a stay order.
The citizens demand a permanent solution to this issue and would like the government to take early action in this respect.
Shafqat Ellahi and others
Published in Dawn, March 21st, 2017