THIS refers to the editorial ‘Malir Expressway concerns’ (April 26). The expressway is being built on the bank of Malir riverbed. The riverbank and the riverbed belong to the Sindh government. Both are being used by a group of land-grabbers for all sorts of activities; farming being one of the major occupations.
The raw sewage from colonies and cattle pens along the two 36km riverbanks and untreated chemical waste from unauthorised factories is used for vegetable cultivation. A lot of foam is generated when it makes a fall into the Arabian Sea near the Korangi Road. It reflects the presence of toxic chemicals in the water stream. The vegetables grown there are sold openly in Karachi and no one fully knows the number of ailments these vegetables are causing.
Like the Lyari Expressway, hundreds of illegal encroachments, including houses, factories, places of worship, schools and other business setups, will have to be removed before the Malir Expressway is constructed. Today, thousands of commuters and trucks use the Lyari Expressway daily, and the same will happen on the Malir Expressway when it is completed.
This new road will ease traffic on Sharea Faisal, provide an alternative route to airport, connect Keamari to the Superhighway, and reduce traffic on the link road in Malir. Whenever any infrastructure or modern alternative is initiated in Karachi, we suddenly see people opposing it vehemently, mostly supporting the land mafia. The people of Karachi witnessed this when its first underpass was initiated in Clifton, and, again, in the case of Lyari Expressway and the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) re-enactment plan.
This gift to Karachi should get completed ahead of schedule and within cost.
S. Nayyar Iqbal Raza
Published in Dawn, May 13th, 2022