KARACHI: The Sindh government has resisted the federal government’s proposal of establishing new cities on Dangi and Bhandar islands – located at the western end of the Sindh’s coastal zone bordering Korangi, Phitti and Jhari creeks.
Bhandar [also known as Bundal islands] is one of the highest of all the islands along the Sindh coast, which stretches about eight kilometres, whereas, the width of the island varies — it is about 4km wide in the north and 1km in the south.
Minister for Agriculture Muhammad Ismail Rahu, in a rather strong-worded reaction, said the dream of the federation to establish a new city on the coast of Sindh will never come true. The minister said the Centre has also not consulted the Sindh government on the issue either.
He said that according to the Constitution of Pakistan, up to 12 nautical miles of maritime boundaries fall under the jurisdiction of the provincial government and the federation will not be allowed to occupy the lands and resources of Sindh.
“Without the permission of the Sindh government, the federation could not build anything in any part of the province,” he said, adding that the federal government is bringing the Pakistan Islands Development Authority 2020 Act to occupy the islands of Sindh and Balochistan, which is not acceptable.
The minister said that the Centre could not even amend Rule 27 (5) A and Rule 27 (8) 1973 for establishing the authority without the permission of the provinces.
Asserting that establishing new cities on the islands would destroy all aquatic life, including fish and mangrove forests, he noted that Gen (retd) Musharraf’s similar attempt to build cities on Bhandar and Dangi Islands also failed in the past.