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KARACHI: Lake at Safari Park in bad shape

April 04, 2006

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KARACHI, April 3: One of the two artificial lakes at Safari park, which once had been home to many wild birds and also provided a recreation facility to the citizens, has virtually been turned into a muddy pond without any birds due to negligence of the park management.

Sources in the city government said that about 30 flamingo, eight black swans, four cranes and other birds were residing in the lake just a year ago. Many of them have either been stolen or died, while rest have been shifted to an isolated place in the park.

They said that the park management had not been providing any proper health facilities to the wild animals and birds’ residing in open closures. This, they added, had resulted in the deaths of various birds and animals.

Currently, there is only one veterinary doctor for the animals and birds but he, too, is involved in administrative affairs hardly visits the safari area, sources said.

They said that the lake had not been cleaned for the last eight months, which had resulted in spread of fungi in and around it. The shelter for the birds has also been broken, they added.

The former city government had approved a project to develop water input and disposal system but it has also been in doldrums for the last one year.

The former city nazim, Niamatullah Khan, had inaugurated the safari area about 16 months ago where a large number of citizens used to come to see wild animals living in jungle-like environment.  

The safari area where over 500 animals and birds were living in open enclosures by 1996; had been closed for the citizens by the defunct Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) due to unspecified reasons.

However, the former city nazim took personal interest and launched air-conditioned bus service to attract fun-starved Karachiites to visit the park.

On the directives of the former city nazim, the work on chairlift project had also started which has recently been completed and is operational.

Meanwhile, the administration of the Safari Park, in order to provide healthy recreation and safety to visitors, has introduced “Safari Bus” and a “Safari Train”, carrying visitors through the park area from where they can see wild animals.

A modern chairlift has also been introduced recently to carry visitors across the Safari Lake and over to the top of the Safari Hill from where visitors can have a look at the city.

In order to eliminate criminal elements, involved in snatching of hand bags, cellphones and eve-teasing, strict security measures have been reinforced.

Besides, entry of suspicious couples has also been banned, especially teenagers in school and college uniforms.

“It is open to families only”, a spokesman for Safari administration said.—Online/APP