Committee formed to make Chowkundi graveyard world heritage

September 2, 2014 Off By Web Desk

KARACHI: Commissioner Karachi Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui has said that special steps would be taken to enlist Chowkundi graveyard and other historical and heritage sites as world heritage by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

“The steps include erection of security walls around the graveyard and establishment of pickets, evacuation of the land from gravel, sand, trucks, tankers and other encroachments, action against without permission burial of local residents,” he said this while addressing a meeting regarding security, renovation and removal of encroachments from the historical sites of Chowkundi graveyard, Frere Hall, Khaliq Dena Hall and Faizee Rahmeen Art Gallery.

Special Secretary Culture and Tourism Asjad Mehmood, Director Archaeology Department Qasim Ali Qasim, Director Technical Services Karachi Metropolitan Corporation Niaz Ahmed Soomro, Senior Director KMC Rehan Khan, Director Planning and Development Commissioner Office Syed Shakib and anti-encroachment officers were also present on the occasion.

The commissioner said that international level facilities would be provided at the historical sites to make them attractive for national and international tourists and to enlist them in UNESCO’s list of world heritage. With a few steps the target could be achieved.

“Chowkundi graveyard is not only a historical and heritage asset of Karachi or Sindh but national. The security of the site is not just the responsibility of government but all the organizations and citizens as well,” he said.

Siddiqui announced formation of a four-member committee regarding security steps and other issues of Chowkundi graveyard. The committee comprises assistant Commissioner Ibrahim Hyderi, Director Culture KMC Tariq Naseer, Deputy Director Anti-encroachment KMC Asif Jetha and Aziz Khattak from anti-encroachment force police.

Asjad Mehmood told the meeting that Chowkundi graveyard was losing its identity because of fast burial of local residents and encroachment by tanker, gravel and sand mafia on the 90 acre land.

It was decided in the meeting that special secretary cultural and tourism would send a letter to the department of planning and development for issuance of fund to build the wall around the graveyard. Syed Shakib would contact UNESCO coordinator for Sindh to arrange a meeting.

The safety, renovation and development steps of Frere Hall, Khaliq Dena Hall and Faizee Rahmeen Art Gallery were discussed in detail in the meeting. The meeting also decided to make Faizee Rahmeen Art Gallery functional. Next meeting in this regard would be held on 9th Sept at commissioner house.

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