Karachi’s iconic Sea View area to get a facelift

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Construction work under way on Clifton Beach in Karachi, Pakistan, on Sunday. (AN photo by S. A. Babar)
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A Cantonment Board Clifton (CBC) worker takes part in a cleanup of Clifton Beach as he drives by a fish-shaped bin for dry waste in Karachi on Sept. 19, 2019. (Files/AFP)
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People enjoy the sea view area of Karachi on Sunday. (AN photo by S. A. Babar)
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Updated 29 July 2020

Karachi’s iconic Sea View area to get a facelift

  • Authorities to develop seashore into public resort after being inspired by similar project in Jeddah

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.”

Tens of thousands in fresh anti-Kremlin rally

Updated 3 min 26 sec ago

Tens of thousands in fresh anti-Kremlin rally

  • The rallies in the city of some 600,000 people on the border with China is a major show of defiance against Moscow’s policies
  • The demonstrations were sparked by the sudden arrest of Khabarovsk’s popular governor in a murder probe

KHABAROVSK, Russia: Tens of thousands of people took to the streets in Russia’s Far East for a fifth consecutive weekend as anti-Kremlin rallies showed little sign of dying down on Saturday.
The rallies in the city of some 600,000 people on the border with China is a major show of defiance against Moscow’s policies and present a headache for President Vladimir Putin, observers say.
The demonstrations were sparked by the sudden arrest of Khabarovsk’s popular governor in a murder probe but has since acquired a wider, distinctly anti-Kremlin agenda.
Protesters demand that regional governor Sergei Furgal be either released or tried in Khabarovsk.
Putin last month dismissed Furgal over a “loss of confidence” in his ability to govern and appointed a controversial new official in his place.
Protesters said they were incensed by what they call a blatant disregard for their feelings and opinions.
Elena Ogly, 38, said that the Kremlin should either fulfil protesters’ demand or face a long-term opposition movement.
“We elected him honestly. We love him,” said Ogly, referring to Furgal.
“I think that this will either grind to a halt when the president gives us his answer or will not stop at all,” she told AFP.
Furgal’s supporters say the charges against him are political and payback for his popularity.
In 2018, he won the governor’s seat from a representative of the ruling United Russia party who was backed by Putin.
Entrepreneur Yevgeny Savinov suggested that protests could spread across the country because Russians are “fed up” with “corruption, lies, and propaganda.”
“This will only grow and spread across Russia,” the 37-year-old said.
“Authorities have been playing a dangerous game.”
In recent weeks people in a number of Russian cities and towns took to the streets in support of Khabarovsk protesters but those rallies were not massive.
Several Moscow-based activists have called on Russians to take to the streets across the country on August 15.
Observers say that anger at the Kremlin is building over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic and falling incomes but it remains unclear if Russians across the country are ready to take to the streets en masse.
In a statement, regional authorities claimed turnout at Khabarovsk rallies has been going down and said that just 2,800 people turned up in the city’s central square on Saturday.
But witnesses and participants said that tens of thousands took part in a march across the city.
High-profile local activist Alexei Vorsin suggested that at least 50,000 people were present.