Tree transplantation for Green Lung at Kidney Park

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Staff Reporter

Ongoing efforts for successful transplantation of trees, exposed to possible destruction in Karachi, along with cultivation of numerous flowering and fruit trees, shrubs and plants at the Kidney Hill Park hold optimum chances of its being turned into a sustainable component of “Green Lung” prerequisite to combat atmospheric pollution and growing temperatures in the coastal city.

Karachi among the cities worst hit by climate change definitely needs a Green Lung, ideally a large sized forest cultivated in its suburbs, however, given the ground realities this may not be possible hence approach to have green covers scattered across the ever expanding city is a viable option to combat the associated challenges.

The attempt being made for protection of trees, uprooted or simply being cut down for different development schemes and/or expansion projects undertaken by government or private entities has its deficiencies in particular context of Karachi divided in categories as water logged, saline and dry land zones making it necessary that uprooted full grown trees are transplanted in specific areas in accordance to conditions required for their healthy survival.

Dr. Rafi ul Haq, a senior plant ecologist while emphasizing importance of scientific approach for tree transplantation as well as cultivation of saplings and seedlings reminded that due stock of land, soil properties are crucial for full and proper growth of trees, achieving the target of robust and sustainable green cover with nil or minimum chances of stunting, damage and loss of precious resources in terms of finances, labor and time.

“How can we ever forget that precious trees uprooted from Garden West, during road expansion scheme, were moved to a dedicated site off M.A. Jinnah Road but met the fate of failed transplantation causing massive loss to the nature and ecology,” reminded the consultant with vast experience of working for IUCN and other reputable organizations.

In particular context of Kidney Hill Park, spread over an area of 62 acres of human kidney shaped land, the scenario was different as it emerged one of its own kind of public facility that underwent massive transformation on scientific lines consequent to its evacuation by almost all categories of encroachers through Supreme Court intervention paving way for support on part of different stakeholders under leadership of the then Municipal Commissioner of Karachi, Dr. Saif ur Rehman.

“A systematic approach was adopted and an extensive study was conducted of the site allotted as a park by Karachi Development Authority in 1964 but left unattended and remained so even after being handed to Karachi Municipal Corporation in 1974 till I took upon himself to turn the public park into an exemplary facility in 2019,” said the civil servant representing Pakistan Administrative Service.

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