KARACHI – The selling of two big islands of Sindh including Bhandaar and Dingi Islands for construction of one of the biggest buildings of the world will create big environmental issues in the area, which may affect the Karachi city.This was stated by Arif Hassan, a noted architect and environmentalist, while speaking at a seminar organised by Department of Environmental Sciences of Sindh Madressatul Islam on “Environmental issues of Sindh” at university’s auditorium on Saturday. The social scientist said these islands were big breeding grounds for shrimps and prawns, hence the project of construction of new city on the islands will not only affect lives of hundreds of thousands of fishermen, who earn their bread and butter from these islands but will also create environmental issues for Karachi.The people should support the concerns of the fishermen on this issue, he maintained. He also said that Sindh in terms of environment is more affected than other provinces of the country, because toxic material comes to Sindh from up stream.The seminar was dedicated to late Parveen Rehman, who was recently murdered by land mafia in the city. Mr Hassan said that the environmental issues facing the country are related to a single lobby comprised of banking, oil and automobile sectors.“This is why, in the year of 2009-10, banks gave US$1.6 billion to the people for purchasing 506 vehicles in Karachi. On the other hand this amount was sufficient to change the entire city. The environmental problems, which are being affecting people of Sindh and the country are also related to the international environmental issues.”The construction of buildings on natural sewerage system of Karachi has also added in the problems of the city. The environmental issues can be resolved only be vision and will of the public sector institutions. And the people must mount pressure on the government bodies and other concerned institutions for implementation of laws related to environment and other civic problems.Dr Ali Shaikh, Vice Chancellor SMIU, said, “We are living in one world, which we have to save from environmental disastrous. He said that for resolution of environmental problems we have to act as an individual, on the city, town and village level, on the province and country level and then on international level.” He also announced that SMIU shall run special classes of English language for the SMIU students to get expertise in the language and he also announced Rs1000 for each student, who participated in the seminar.Earlier Dr Seema Jilani, Chairperson of SMIU’s Department of Environmental Sciences delivered welcome address, while SMIU students Ayaz, Atiq, Faizan, Waheed Murad, Ahmed, Taha, Arsala, Hani, Noorul Ain, Zeenat, Mahnoor, Nimra, Munza and Fraz gave presentations on various aspects of pollution.

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 07-Apr-2013 here.