Karachi-Barren Lyari Riverbed transformed into a Green Urban Forest

The forest department in Karachi has taken action to transform fifty acres of barren Lyari riverbed situated in the Keamari district into an urban forest. Launched at the start of this year, this project has so far grown 73,500 trees on both sides of the riverbed between Mauripur bridge to Shershah bridge.

Among these trees, Guava, Jaman, Chickoo, pomegranate, Indian beech tree, Gul Mohar, Gul-e-Nishtar, Shisham, Manila Tamarind, Parkinsonia species, Neem & Keekar were planted out of which are now bearing fruits.

The district forest officer Maqsood Ahmed stated that “It’s the first phase of the lyari urban forest project which will soon be spread to a larger area.”

According to sources, the government has taken numerous plantation initiatives in various cities of Pakistan including Karachi under the launch of the Green Pakistan Initiative in 2018-2019.

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In the last two years Memon Goth, Shah Faisal Colony, Model Colony, Jinnah International Airport area, Gulistan-i-Jauhar, Bin Qasim town, Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Park in Clifton were targeted for this operation along with the areas along the M-9 Motorway and National Highway which has not only impacted the environment but has also added to the value of properties in these areas.

The project site of Lyari forest was recommended by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari(Chairman of Pakistan Peoples Party) personally as the department did not own any land within the city area so the areas were targeted at the outskirts of Karachi.

The reports also suggested that within its limited resources the department has grown around 320,000 trees since 2019 in Karachi excluding the current Lyari project.

Due to the lack of specific laws for tree protection and plantation, major obstacles hampered the sustainability of green areas in Karachi city which cannot be controlled unless there is the imposition of a strict ban on cutting trees unless approved by the relevant authorities.

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