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Fire in the park

September 11, 2018


WHEN the government is focussing on climate change, parks are being destroyed in Karachi. One such park is Jauhar Park in Gulshan-i-Iqbal’s Block 13-A, which has fallen victim to neglect of the Sindh government and Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC). The park was well-maintained till the last union council elections.

However, things went from bad to worse when the outer wall of the park was bulldozed a couple of years ago to destroy the structure being used by MQM as its offices on the orders of Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, during his previous tenure.

Now it gives a haunted look and is a haven for drug addicts and anti-social elements, who now live there, for the park doesn’t have any boundary wall. These drug addicts have pulled out all iron benches and electric poles and even demolished an underground tank to pull out iron bars from it so that they can be sold.

A few months ago, owing to the activities of these drug addicts, huge piles of dry leaves and other discarded stuff caught fire in which six trees, including a fully grown peepul and fruit-bearing lemon and chickoo trees were burnt. My children wonder whether these trees will ever be able to recover and give fruit. I don’t have any answer. But perhaps the chief minister should give one because it is because of his illogical orders this park was destroyed.

The inferno was so intense that a fire brigade had to be called out, and the stench and smoke persisted for several days.

A few days ago, KMC workers piled up dry coconut tree leaves and other garbage. As expected, this mountain of waste caught fire once again because of drug addicts. Fire, smoke, heat and odour is causing respiratory problems to the area residents.

Will the chief minister direct the authorities concerned to clean the mess?

M. Raj

Published in Dawn, September 11th, 2018