KARACHI - Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar said on Thursday that Malir and Lyari rivers were likely to pose serious threats to their surrounding areas, including Landi and Korangi Industrial Zones, if complete ban was not imposed on the dumping of garbage and construction activities in the vicinity of these rivers and their channelization was not done now.

He said this during his visit to the Malir and Lyari rivers where he had gone to inspect the water situation.

The mayor said that Karachi had several drains and two rivers namely Malir and Lyari, which discharged rain and floodwater into the sea. “The last floods in 1975 inundated the neighborhoods of Malir and Korangi and Shah Faisal Colony, causing the loss of lives and damaging properties,” he said, and added, “A protective bund was constructed on either side to allow flow of water into the sea without compromising the neighbourhood.” He said unfortunately three major activities were being seen in the area namely construction of houses and flats, heavy dumping of garbage into the rivers and encroachments on both sides.

He said the width and depth of these rivers had reduced to an alarming level, and in case of floods or heavy rains the water level would continue to pose threats to nearby areas.

Wasim was of the view that both these rivers were not the responsibility of KMC. “The Irrigation Department is taking care of these rivers whereas leases are being made by the Board of Revenue in and around the river. And garbage is being thrown as if no one is responsible for this area,” he added.

Mayor expresses grief

Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar on Thursday expressed immense sorrow and grief over the demise of Dr Ruth Pfau, who, he said, had set a bright example of serving the humanity.

He said the vacuum created due to her death would take a long time to fill.

The mayor said Pfau had devoted the last 50 years of her life to fighting leprosy in Pakistan. “In 1996, Pakistan was declared by the World Health Organisation to have controlled leprosy, one of the first countries in Asia to achieve this goal. She will remain in the hearts of Pakistanis forever,” he said.