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Karachi’s farmers are growing ‘toxic’ vegetables

Cultivation near the Malir River is common practice

SAMAA | - Posted: Jul 3, 2019 | Last Updated: 3 years ago
Posted: Jul 3, 2019 | Last Updated: 3 years ago

Vegetables are being grown using the poisonous water of the Malir River in Karachi.

Farmers have illegally cultivated hundreds of acres of land near the Malir River. They rely on the river to water their crops and grow fruits and vegetables. But the problem is that the river is polluted because factories dump their untreated waste into it.

The Karachi Water and Sewerage Board has taken notice of this. The board’s managing director, Asadullah Khan, has written a letter to District Korangi’s deputy commissioner to inform her about the illegal cultivation.

“Assorted groups of farmers are carrying out agricultural activities on scattered pieces of land at the bed of the Malir River, which is obstructing the 36-inch diameter of the main sewerage carrier channel,” the KWSB managing-director wrote.

This is not the first time that vegetables are being grown in toxic water near the Malir River.

The KWSB managing-director said that the vegetation of food crops along the stretch from Shah Faisal Colony to the Quaidabad bridge is causing blockage in the disposal of sewage.

He also termed the practice a health risk to residents.

In the letter, Khan identified the areas where the sewerage water was being transported. He said the blockage initiates from the waste collected from Malir, Shah Faisal, Mohabbat Nagar, Shesh Mahal, Azeempura, Reta plot, Natha Khan Goth and the adjoining colonies. This waste passes through the 36-inch diameter of the main sewerage carrier and is dumped into the Malir River.

Shah Faisal Town’s Khalid, who looks after matters of land utilisation in the Malir-Korangi areas, confirmed that illegal cultivation using sewerage water near the Malir River was continuing.

“Some notorious elements are carrying out vegetation at the bed of the Malir River on around 50 to 100 acres of land,” he told SAMAA Digital.

He said that the district administration, with assistance from the police, KMC and DMC staffers, would conduct an operation against such farmers in a couple of days.

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