KARACHI: Inspired by a project in Jeddah, a municipal agency in Karachi, Pakistan’s seaside metropolis on the Arabian Sea, plans to turn a coastal neighborhood into a recreational area, open and free to the public, officials told Arab News.
In April last year, members of the Cantonment Board Clifton (CBC) visited the Jeddah Waterfront resort project, part of the Jeddah Corniche, a 30-kilometer coastal resort area along the Red Sea. They held consultations with the Saudi city’s authorities to transform Karachi’s 2.83-kilometre-long Sea View area into a more friendly space, where visitors could enjoy modern facilities.
“There will be no walls. It will be a completely open space, accessible to all,” CBC spokesman Amir Ali told Arab News, adding that entry will be free of charge.
“The beach we have currently doesn’t offer much to visitors who come here from across Pakistan or abroad. CBC authorities realized we should have the best beach, complete with all necessary facilities.”
He added: “This is a non-commercial project built with limited resources, but it will offer maximum recreation.”
The provincial government in Sindh says the modernization and beautification of Karachi is part of major goal to revitalize Pakistan’s largest city and economic powerhouse, long plagued by traffic congestion, poor road infrastructure and transport, water and electricity shortages, and rampant crime. But politicking by local parties and wrangling between the different levels of government have long stalled Karachi’s growth for decades and continue to hold back development.
In this context, the resort project, called “Beautification of the Clifton Beach,” will be no easy task.
The project is composed of two major parts. One will start at the Nishan-e-Pakistan monument and end at the Chanki Manki amusement park. It will have a walkway, a jogging track, a green area, seven restaurants built from wooden materials, two emergency first-aid rooms and four public conveniences.
The second part, starting at Chanki Manki, will end at Village restaurants. It will have a food court, stalls, a yoga place, three watchtowers, parks, a wonder garden, a reading area, a playground for children, prayer facilities, and a beach deck.
According to CBC, the project is environmentally friendly and has obtained a certificate from the Sindh Environmental Agency.
“The project was planned keeping in mind environmental aspects, so no high rise construction will be involved,” CBC’s Ali said, adding that 70 percent of the area will be green, covered with grass, mangroves and miswak trees, with the vegetation serving as a buffer between the main road and the beach. It will also help prevent the sand from entering residential areas.
“Over the past decade, many countries in the world, including Saudi Arabia, have developed their beaches and turned them into great recreational spots,” he said. “We are also aiming to do the same.”