KARACHI: A task force has been formed to clean up the large number of seashells that have carpeted Sea View beach since Cyclone Phet, announced the minister for environment, Shaikh Muhammad Afzal, on Friday.
The stormy seas produced by the weather system a month ago, washed ashore hundreds, if not thousands of dead sea creatures and seashells, leaving the residents of areas such as Clifton beach in olfactory agony. The Clifton Board Cantonment and DHA administration contracted Saleh Muhammed & Brothers whose workers carted away dumper truck after dumper truck of the debris. The city and Sindh government’s taskforce is led by EDO Municipal Services Masood Alam, while the Environmental Protection Agency’s technical director, the administrator of Saddar Town, DHA’s director of solid waste, the Karachi Port Trust manager of marine pollution and representatives from the Sindh Disaster Management Authority are also responsible for ensuring the cleanup.
The minister and the taskforce discussed the problems the residents have been facing, such as the foul smell. Some visitors to the beach have been injured by the broken shells, said Afzal. The task force visited Sea View to assess the situation and come up with a plan.
For its part, the City District Government Karachi started pitching in separately by dispatching its dumper trucks and bulldozers to move the garbage to landfill sites. City administrator Lala Fazlur Rehman also paid a visit to Sea View on Friday. He directed the management of Saddar Town to immediately clean up the mess on the three-kilometre long coastal belt that lies in its jurisdiction.
“This action is being taken to clear Clifton beach because it is difficult for visitors to walk barefoot along the shore,” revealed Shabbi Siddiqi of the environment department. “People have complained of cuts and bruises because the shells are sharp.”
Residents have repeatedly complained about the smell. “We have tried to keep our doors and windows open,” said Fahad, a neighbourhood resident. “But the smell simply made our lives miserable.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2010.