Then and now: Karachi’s Bagh Ibne Qasim emerged from virtually wasteland

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BY SHAHJAHAN KHURRAM

KARACHI: Before Bagh Ibne Qasim, the beachside park sprawling across 10 acres of land in Clifton emerged, the area was virtually wasteland. 

As one goes through satellite images of the area (which is Clifton Block 3 and 4) from 2001 to 2017, Bagh Ibne Qasim is the most evident change that appears on the landscape.

This satellite image from 2001 shows you how the land was barren and nothing was built on it.

Fast forward to five years and you see signs of the park being constructed as the lanes have been set up inside the area designated for the park. Also, the Park Towers building can also be seen in the picture from 2001. The mall is still present in the same location today and though is not frequented as often as it was then, still happens to house outlets of well-known brands and famous eateries.

We see fist signs of greenery in the park in this satellite grab from 2007. Much of the park was yet to be developed around this time but it was inaugurated by then-President General (r) Pervez Musharraf in the same year.

Bagh Ibne Qasim was at its prime in 2012 as you can judge from this satellite grab from the same year. The park looks well maintained with adept greenery. Also, from this satellite image the condition of the adjacent road to the park that leads to Bilawal House can also be seen in an improved state.

This was the year when Asif Ali Zardari was the President of Pakistan and Bilawal House, which is a stone’s throw away from the Bagh Ibne Qasim, was upgraded to the level of the President’s camp office.

This satellite image is from 2017 and show the park in a withered condition. Much of the greenery has gone due to lack of maintenance on part of the city administration.

The park was made on a land that was previously almost barren and contained nothing but interspaced shrubs. The park was a huge achievement of the city government at the time. However, as the years have gone by, Bagh Ibne Qasim has been neglected and as a result, is slowly starting to wither away.

The city government should do what it can to maintain this park spread across a large area in Karachi as it is a landmark with which the city identifies.

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Story first published: 5th December 2017

Originally Posted on SamaaNews

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