Karachi holds several historic sites and buildings that mark the colonial era in the sub-continent. These buildings have been standing still and have seen many eras. The rich cultural and historical essence embedded in these buildings brings back memories of the past that may have been easily forgotten if these buildings and sites didn’t stand. Unfortunately, these buildings and sites are fading away due to lack of attention given to their maintenance and restoration and it is feared that soon this valuable heritage will be lost.
Jahangir Park is one such example, which dates back to 1893. This park holds a history worth of over 100 years. But it also suffers the same negligence at the hands of the authorities. The park was gifted by a Parsi philanthropist, Khan Bahadur Behramjee Jehangirjee Rajkotwala to the people of Karachi. The park was the main recreational space in the vicinity that provided fresh air in the busy city district. Various political rallies were also held at this park, which emphasizes its importance in the political scene. The park unfortunately has been neglected and misused by the greedy government officials, who have tried to fill their pockets through this park.
The officials used it as a parking space and also rented it out to fruit vendors. 100 year old trees were brutally cut down to make space for parking vehicles. In 2005, the Chief Justice of Pakistan took notice of the declining condition of the park and decided a sou motto against it. The provincial chief secretary was instructed to protect the trees and to not allow anyone to cut anymore trees of the Jehangir Park. The chief justice also banned any other activity on the park. The decision was taken to stop the city government from constructing a parking plaza over it.
The park still stands in its dismal state. Eight years have passed since this decision and no effort has been taken to restore the lost glory of the park. While it sits in its deserted state, encroachers are stealthily creeping back onto the park and exploiting it for their own personal benefits.