KARACHI: Ahmed Ali Park, better known as Kidney Hill Park, one of the most scenic recreational sites spread over 62 acres in the middle of the city near Bahadurabad, was on Saturday inaugurated by Mayor Wasim Akhtar after its restoration.
Karachi Metropolitan Corporation’s Municipal Commissioner Dr Syed Saif ur Rehman, who supervised and monitored the restoration and renovation of the park, former CPLC chief Jamil Yousuf and others were also present on the occasion.
The Kidney Hill Park, which remained inaccessible to citizens for over three decades due to encroachments, was named after Ahmed Ali, an acclaimed town planner who was the chief town planner in the Karachi Development Authority.
Speaking on the occasion, the mayor said that environmental pollution in the city was touching a dangerous level. “Karachi contributes huge amount of Rs350 billion to the national exchequer, but still no attention is paid to resolving the city’s issues,” he said.
‘Environmental pollution in the city is touching dangerous levels’
The mayor sought help of the business community to raise a voice for the city’s issues and use influence for their resolution, adding that he alone could not bring improvement to Karachi.
He said the people of the city wanted their civic and municipal problems solved, and urged the federal and provincial governments to own the city.
Mr Akhtar said the KMC was doing its best for the betterment of the city despite an acute shortage of funds.
He said that the local bodies system was meant to make the country progress and prosper, but it was destroyed in the country only to benefit the National Assembly members.
He said that over 23,000 trees were planted in Kidney Hill Park to make the site a great urban forest.
The metropolitan commissioner said several parks were made, but the Kidney Hill Park was unique and unprecedented as it gave a sense of satisfaction. “Within a period of 80 days my team completed this project within available resources,” he said.
A big national flag, hoisted at the highest point of the Kidney Hill Park, reinvigorated the scenic beauty of the recreational site. The 12x18 feet flag was hoisted on a 40-foot high pole at the 209-foot highest point of the park that had earlier become a haven for drug addicts and land grabbers.
The KMC under the supervision of the municipal commissioner had started the renovation work in the park a couple of months ago following the ruling of the Supreme Court against encroachments on amenity plots, footpaths and pavements.
The trees planted in the park included the royal poinciana, sacred fig, madras thorn, wild almond, fig, neem, guava, chikoo, cluster fig, banyans, coconut, babul, date palms, mango, pomegranates, custard apple and grape.
Published in Dawn, December 22nd, 2019