Aiwan-Riffat project included in priority list
By Staff Reporter
KARACHI: One of the most delayed and artistic projects of Karachi city, Aiwan-e-Riffat, has been included in the priority list of Mayor Waseem Akhtar, although the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) is facing serious financial constraints, the sources said. According to the sources, a few days back Mayor Waseem Akhtar was briefed by the heads of various departments about the projects that were important and had been delayed for a long time. He was informed about the delay in the Aiwan-e-Riffat project and its importance for the citizens as officials of the department informed him all the details of the project. It is pertinent to mention here that the Aiwan-e-Riffat would be a centre of fine arts as well as performing arts in the city at M R Kiyani Road near NAPA and Arts Council. The construction of Aiwan-e Riffat Fyzee Rahamin Art Gallery, which was part of the project and just adjacent to the project’s main building, had been completed and it was running smoothly. As many as 50 paintings of late Fyzee had been put on display there. The development work was stopped in 2009-10 when 70 percent of the work had been completed. The five-story building was started in 1991 and continued till 1998. Then construction work resumed in 2009 but was stopped once again after just one year. The work was stopped many times, sometimes for financial reasons and sometimes for technical reasons. The project was handled by KMC’s cultural, sports and recreational (CSR) department. It was a unique project, having a most advanced and sophisticated auditorium with seating arrangement for 1800 in its hall, which is bigger than Lahore’s Al-Hamra. It is particularly designed for musical functions, stage dramas and mushaeras. The project has been named after the couple that devoted their lives for the promotion of arts inPakistan. Fyzee Rahamin and Begum Atiya Fyzee arrived in Pakistan on the invitation of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and settled in Karachi after the Partition. They donated their residence to KMC for the promotion of fine arts and performing arts.