The city administration has decided to activate the Divisional Heritage Preservation Committee, headed by Karachi commissioner Iqbal Memon, to enable coordinated efforts to preserve historic buildings in the city.
This was decided in a meeting held at South Deputy Commissioner Irshad Sodhar’s office on Friday. Memon directed the officials to carry out coordinated efforts to make the city better and resolve issues with the support of civic agencies.
He said the officials of all seven district municipal corporations (DMCs) should work for the resolution of public grievances in close cooperation and coordination with the civic agencies, including the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB), Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), DMCs and cantonment boards.
Sodhar gave a detailed presentation to the commissioner with the help of charts and pictures on the efforts being made by the district administration for the development and beautification of the district and resolution of problems faced by the citizens.
He also spoke about the implementation of the Karachi Neighborhood Project in District South which was initiated by the Sindh government with the support of the World Bank.
Besides the NJV Government Higher Secondary School and Jehangir park, the commissioner visited different areas of the district to know of the civic issues. Memon said District South was an important district as it had historic buildings and places.
A diverse community lives in this district and it had socioeconomic importance and a large number of head offices of financial and non-government organizations.
He said the provincial government was making all-out efforts in line with the vision of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah to make the city a better place to live in with the objective to improve quality of life for the local residents, including improvement in footpaths, service roads, parking lanes, food streets and green belts.
Rehabilitation of Boat Basin and the Gizri Sports Ground were among other development projects in the city, the commissioner said.
Last month, the Sindh High Court had directed the district judges to depute magistrates to visit sites/monuments protected under antiquities law across the province and empower them to call authorities for the restoration and preservation of the antiquity value of such properties.
A single-judge bench headed by Justice Salahuddin Panhwar also observed that such properties under the Ancient Monument Preservation Act 1904 and the Antiquities Act 1975 were not owned by any private person.
The issue of ancient properties cannot be equated as private properties under the Heritage Act 1994, but that of antiquities therefore judicial propriety demands serious attention on above reflected properties, it added.