Karachi urban forest Kidney Hill Park
Tree plantations at the site of Kidney Hill Park. Image Credit: Released by Karachi's Administrator Murtaza Wahab

Karachi: In just two years’ time, the efforts of Karachi’s municipal authorities have started bearing fruit as the highest point of Karachi - the Kidney Hill Park - has assumed the shape of an urban forest and has now served as the perfect place to preserve the flora and fauna of the city.

The success story of Kidney Hill’s transformation was recently shared by senior bureaucrat, Dr Syed Saifur Rehman, who is now Principal Secretary to Sindh Governor. He worked on this project recently in his capacity as the Metropolitan Commissioner of Karachi. He was one of the speakers at the 18th Annual Environment Conference and Excellence Awards-2021 whose audience was captivated by the segment on the Kidney Hill Park.

Dr Rehman said the site of the Kidney Hill Park had been barren and desolate and filled with thousands of tonnes of municipal, industrial waste, and construction debris for the last several decades. A massive fleet of dump trucks was deployed to clear the site for plantation.

A special topographic survey of the hilly tract of land was conducted to grow trees on it.

Karachi urban forest Kidney Hill Park
Tree plantations at the site of Kidney Hill Park in Karachi. Image Credit: Released by Karachi's Administrator Barrister Murtaza Wahab.

With maximum height of 219 feet, the Kidney Hill Park is considered the highest point of Karachi as one of the hills of the park now displaying the Pakistani flag and name of the park resembles the famous Rock of Gibraltar.

He said the area, after getting the form of an urban jungle, served as an oxygen tank for the city and also helped to restore the natural ecosystem of Karachi.

The senior bureaucrat said the most important aspect was that the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), the cash-strapped municipal authority of the city, had spent its own financial resources to develop the hilly area as no grant had been taken from the Sindh government.

He said 62 acres land of the park had been used to plant 150,000 trees and plant saplings of indigenous species as the plantation mostly consisted of fruit bearing trees.

After becoming a green space, the park has also started attracting several local bird species.

Dr Rehman said the Kidney Hill Park was located in the middle of the city in famous Dhoraji Colony of District East. Had the KMC not stared its timely work to make the area green, it would have easily been encroached upon by unscrupulous people.

He said the park had several walking trails for visitors.

Dr Rehman expressed gratitude to Sindh Chief Minister, Syed Murad Ali Shah, Sindh Local Government Minister, Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, Karachi’s Administrator Barrister Murtaza Wahab, former Karachi’s Mayor Waseem Akhtar, for lending full support to develop the park.