Fisherfolk Protest Against Construction Of New Cities On Twin Islands In Karachi
They say it would affect the entire region with the kind of pollution it will generate.
Fishermen from Karachi gathered at Ibrahim Hyderi on the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) call on Friday to discuss the construction of a new city on the twin islands Bundle and Dingi (Buddo) along Karachi’s coast.
The PFF chairman, Mohammad Ali Shah said that there were over 300 fishing villages on the coast of Sindh, which happen to be possessed by the fisherfolk who have been living there before the creation of Pakistan.
“Now the federal government is stepping on their toes with its plans of construction of a new city on Dingi and Bundle islands,” he said.
Mr. Shah lamented that the federal authorities had had their eyes on these islands for long.
“Plans for this were also declared in 2006, during the rule of the former president Pervez Musharraf. However, after much protest from the fisherfolk community, those plans were set aside,” he said.
“Now, once again, the islands are being auctioned off, and the step will rob the fisherfolk’s livelihood. It would affect the entire region with the kind of pollution it will generate. Therefore, not just our fisherfolk, every person from this province is against the construction of this so-called modern city,” he said.
MPA Mahmood Alam Jamote also backed the PFF chairman, saying the sale or auctioning off the two islands was utterly unacceptable.
“Auctioning the islands is out of the question. It is not to be allowed by the people of Sindh as it is an attack on their province,” he said.
“The delta, the creek areas, the mangrove forests around these islands are harvesting areas for marine life.
They are also used by the fishing boats as a passageway to the deep sea. Besides, the islands are the property of Sindh and cannot be stolen so easily.”
“The federal government has decided to establish the city on the twin islands without any consultation with the Sindh government, but the area falls under provincial jurisdiction,” he said.
He urged all the people at the gathering to stand up and raise their voice against the step taken by the federal government.
Earlier on Thursday, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail stated that the Bundle Island project would “surpass Dubai” after it is developed into a city with an investment of around $50 billion.
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