At first glance it looks like a scene from Beverly Hills or some place in Vienna captured under the full moon. The scenery it surrounds is eye-catching and serenity it depicts touches hearts. The environs here looks splendid, calm and captivating. One surely love to arrive here to catch the infinity of sky, to feel the gravity of aura and to breathe for refreshing as well as rejuvenating. However, you need not to go outside Karachi to experience this scenic view.
Located in Kokan Society adjacent to Shaheed e Millat Road, and named after renowned town planner Ahmed Ali, the Kidney Hill Park is actually a state-of-the-art urban forest in the megacity. It is an incomparable ecological and entertainment resource for Karachites, spread over 62 acre hilly and sprawling land. More than 40,000 trees of 47 species have been planted here so far. And, the great thing is all of them are indigenous plants of Pakistan. There are shrubs, bushes, trees of native fruits and flowers for rejoicing, besides plenty of greenery and shades of trees to offer coolness to visitors. The Park is surely a definite attempt to better the environment of the metropolitan and arrest the perils of climate change.
Another good thing about the Kidney Hill Park is all the beauty and simplicity of nature has been tried to be preserved here. As all unkempt trees and shrubs have been groomed, while the trails have been cleaned and flattened to make them easier to traverse. Water pounds for birds are specially developed, while stray dogs have also been removed from the park with the help of the Edhi Welfare Foundation.
The haphazard construction and aimless development of Karachi city has always been a serious concern. The public parks and recreation areas are also no exception. Almost all the public parks in Karachi were developed without applying sensibility. Rarely native trees are available in gardens here, while mostly foreign species like Conocarpus or Eucalyptus were used for beautification – both are often cited as “eco-unfriendly” by various environmentalist. There is scarcity in planning, tracks and pathways were designed very static or customary inside gardens, the ambiance is cosmetic and there is nothing for nature lovers.
On the other hand the Kidney Hill Park has been developed without defecting any hilly segment of it and maintaining it’s natural plateaus and trails, which gives a true sense of nature and positivity.
With the rising pollution in the city, the air purify index of Karachi is getting alarming day by day. Though, it is not as lethal as of Lahore, but toxic emissions from vehicles along with tons of asphalt and concrete have made the metropolitan prone to heat island effect, causing hundreds of deaths annually. Having thousands of shady and indigenous trees inside, which also provide coolness and lessen the temperature, the Kidney Hill Park is truly a land of pure oxygen to fill your lungs and an escapism from dense and polluted commutation.
In the last, the local government authorities deserve credit to protect this park from encroachments and develop it with meagre resources. Specially the Karachi Municipal Commissioner Dr. Saif ur Rehman needs to mention here who stood up to the pressure and has taken personal care to re-establish it, which had been closed some fifty years ago.