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KMC cancels agreement for Karachi urban forest

September 4, 2019
 
KMC cancels agreement for Karachi urban forest

The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation has cancelled the “adoption agreement” of a three-acre park for the development of an urban forest in the megapolis. The park is located on plot ST-13 in Clifton’s Park Lane.

A private company M/s Urban Forest had adopted the park in May 2017 for five years.

Shahzad Qureshi, the owner of M/s Urban Forest, told Samaa Digital that the KMC has cancelled the five-year adoption agreement “without any reason”. He said this is not the first time that the KMC has cancelled the agreement.

“The KMC had first cancelled the agreement in September 2018 and then restored it in October 2018,” Qureshi said.

He said the urban forest contained a lake, 15,000 plants of different types and an organic garden producing different vegetables, which were given to the locals “free of cost”. The contractor said a treatment plant was also being installed for recycling sewerage water in order to use it for plantation.

“We have spent nearly Rs9 million during the one-and-a-half year on this urban forest with active support of philanthropists,” he said. Qureshi said people could get details of the expenditure on the park from their website urbanforest.pk.

He said neither Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar nor Director General Parks Afaq Mirza visited the urban forest during this period. “The DG Parks not even responded to my calls during this entire period.”

Qureshi termed the cancellation of the agreement an attempt by the DG Parks to discourage positive approach. He said this was nothing but a “political gimmick”.

On the contrary, KMC officials were of the view that the contractor has failed to develop and maintain the land as a public park, which compelled them to cancel the agreement and take possession of the park.

They said there was no green grass or fences at the park, while the private company worked only on 768 square yards of the land.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf member of the Sindh Assembly Khurram Sher Zaman, who resides in the same area, said the contractor grew plants on a very thin strip. He said his party would discuss the plan in detail with KMC administration.

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