There finally seems to be something for the people of Karachi to look forward to as the Sindh Government has inaugurated the Rs650 million Water Front Development project at Manora Beach.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said it was one of the beautiful recreational places that his government developed to provide a safe, secure and clean family recreational place to the people.
“We are planning to develop a Jetty at Sea view to start a ferry service from the Clifton area to Manora beach.” This he said while speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the Rs650 million project.
The ceremony was attended by provincial ministers Nasir Shah, Syed Sardar Shah, Bari Pitafi, Gianchand Israni, Zia Abbas Shah, Karachi Administrator Murtaza Wahab and others.
“The project is part of an overall development scheme of Karachi,” the CM said. He added that at present, Manora beach is underutilised and there is a low volume of visitors due to lack of facilities such as sitting space, dining area, restrooms and shade.
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Shah said that the objective was to develop fundamental facilities and basic activities to get public attraction to the area. “This will eventually increase visitors and improve development of this area,” he said. Shah continued that the project aimed to ensure public access to the waterfront, improve the image of the abandoned waterfront area of Manora and achieve economic regeneration by breathing new life into such recreational activities.
According to Murad Ali Shah, the main attraction of Karachi is its beaches and coastline which distinguish it from the rest of the country. He said that due to the dearth of entertainment avenues, especially for middle and lower middle class, people rush to Clifton, Sea View, Hawkes Bay and Sandspit.
“Since those places are just beaches and not developed, they get stale. There is a dire need of some new developments to provide an area for public refreshment,” he said.
Shah revealed that he proposed that Manora Beach should be an addition to this list. The chief minister said it would be the first developed beach in Karachi and added that the proposed design provides everything required for a healthy and secure family environment.
The chief minister said that in 2019, he had visited Manora area and was given a detailed briefing about the need for development of the area.
“Despite Covid-19 and other issues, we are able to develop the area,” he said. Shah recalled that when he was a child, he used to visit Manora with his parents on a boat. “Today’s child has become a hostage of mobile phones and other gadgets.”
Shah said the government also developed Jahangir Park which was abandoned for a long time. The CM said that Manora has a rich history.
“It is said that the fleet of Alexander the Great had anchored at Manora. Thenm during the Talpur era, a port was developed to protect the city.”
The CM said after completion of the project, Manora would be handed over to the cantonment and he hoped that the area would remain open to the public.
He also announced plans to develop Allama Iqbal Park at Gulberg.
Local Government Minister Nasir Shah said that KDA’s professional team had constructed the Manora project. He said similar projects of recreation and grounds would be developed in the city.
Speaking on the occasion, Karachi Administrator Murtaza Wahab announced the construction of a road from Machli Chowk to KANUPP at a cost of Rs500 million. He added that 250 new buses were being brought in the city to resolve the issue of the transport from Jan 2021.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 31st, 2021.