HRCP seeks steps to protect Clifton temple
KARACHI: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has urged the chief justice of Pakistan to protect over-150-year-old Hindu temple that is threatened by under-construction underpasses and flyover in Clifton. In a letter to the chief justice on Friday, HRCP chief Zohra Yusuf noted that business interests in complicity with Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) officials had started the construction of multiple underpasses and flyover around Clifton seafront without any prior notice.
She noted that such a major venture “which would vandalise the very face of a historical part of the city, has not undergone the environmental impact assessment (with public hearings) mandated by the laws.”
She expressed HRCP’s deep concern over the adverse impact that this project could have on Shri Ratneshwar Mahadev temple located within the radius of a few metres from one of the underpasses. She noted that every year thousands of Hindus devotees visited the temple located near the Jehangir Kothari Parade.
“Ground vibrations from excavation and from the eventual high-density traffic running so close to the temple could cause collapse of this irreplaceable place of worship,” the HRCP chief said.
“The Laxmi Narayan Mandir, located at Native Jetty, near the Jinnah Bridge on M. A. Jinnah Road, had its access, privacy and environs severely affected a few years ago by another commercial project, Port Grand,” she recalled.
Ms Yusuf urged the chief justice to summon KMC officials to ensure that all necessary steps are taken to protect the temple.