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Highrise buildings

September 12, 2017

A 45-storey tower, adjacent to the classy Heritage Katrak Mansion, opposite the iconic Frere Hall, is set to cause a wave of the most dangerous invisible particles that will not only damage these structures but also destroy the lungs of the very young and very old and shorten their life span by 10 years.

The construction particles float and are carried for long distances affecting schoolgoing children, sending them to emergency centres. Soon with a rise in asthma, children will wear masks. Our air quality index on Abdullah Haroon Road is already close to 100, while the World Health Organisation recommends 10. I guess lives in Karachi do not matter.

The court’s go-ahead order doesn’t auger well. Where will the water come from to build? From the air or the ground. Water belongs to all. You don’t have a right to take all the underground water just because it is under your feet. It has to be shared.

We are a water-starved nation and the fourth most polluted in the world. It’s interesting to note that groundwater will be recycled after construction.

Where will the construction water come from? What happens to be in the raw sewerage? Will they recycle it like in Australia, Delhi and Singapore, where people use it for consumption. That would be great.

The approach to this project will mainly be from Dr Ziauddin Ahmed Road, passing another 46-storey building under construction, turn left onto Hoshang Road (entrance to the 10,000-membership Karachi Club and another 46 storey highrise. How is that for air, traffic and noise pollution control. Pray, this red zone doesn’t become a ‘dead zone’ with about five million square feet going up and without planning for tomorrow.

For two years I have conveyed concerns to the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency, but got no response.

Venu G.Advani

Karachi

Published in Dawn, September 12th, 2017