Friday, April 06, 2007

Saahil Bachao...SAVE Karachi's Beaches...Sign the petition

French Beach (Bulehjo), Karachi, Pakistan (Taken by AR Rafiq 2005)

Citizen's group will meet: 4 pm, Saturday, April 7 2007 @ PMA House, Karachi

“The entire beach and its back waters from Hawksbay to Manora is to be developed as real estate. The Hawksbay Sandspit area as Sugar Land City and the Manora ridge as a 20 storey five star hotel. Manora is to be linked to Keamari with a bridge and the development is to continue along the coast upto the golf club. There is nothing wrong with development but this will deprive millions of Karachiites and people from outside of Karachi, who visit the beach for recreational and entertainment purposes, access to the beach. I feel the Karachi "elite" must do something about this. " -- Arif Hasan

WE, THE CITZEN's GROUP DEMAND AN END TO DHA’s BEACH DEVELOPMENT PLAN: [Scroll down for link to the petition, and to contact the organizers]

1. We, the undersigned citizens of Karachi oppose DHA’s Beach Development Plan and demand an immediate end to its implementation as it prevents the common person’s free access to the beach, contravenes the law, and will cause immense environmental damage.

2. Land grabbers have planned to deprive once again the citizens of Pakistan, of their only sea front asset shared by millions of citizens. Their Development Plan consists of developing the area between the coastal road and the sea which at present is mostly undeveloped making access to the Beach possible. This development plan consists of seven zones in the 14 km strip between MacDonald’s and Creek Club.

3. All 14 kilometres of beach will eventually consist of commercial complexes, office blocks, multi-storey car parks, posh restaurants, amusement and theme parks (for which an entrance fee will be charged), a tramway track along the beach (whose fare has been estimates at Rs. 90 per trip, an expo centre complex, vocational dwellings, elite clubs, expensive hotels, high-rise condominiums, a water sports stadium, and a marina.

4. This development will destroy the natural environment of the coast and will make almost the entire beach inaccessible to the citizens of Pakistan, especially to the low and lower middle income communities who will not be able to afford the cost of the expensive entertainment being proposed and will be excluded simply by the nature of developments that are to be implemented

5. No one can take away the right of the citizens of Pakistan to access their beach. Under international and domestic law, the beach area is for public use and everyone, regardless of income, has the right to free access to the beach without obstacles or interference. This is a principle enshrined in the public trust doctrine.

6. We strongly oppose a development plan that will finish off the only natural multi-class recreational space available to Karachites and as a result will further socially fragment an already fragmented city. The beach is a public spot we share with the many hundreds of thousands of our countrymen who visit Clifton Beach every week and belong to all classes and ethnic groups. A plan that shuts out a majority of Pakistan’s population is unacceptable.

7. We have already seen the “gentrification” of the beach by the imposition of a fee of Rs 10 per person as entry to Beachfront Park. This Park controls access to the beach and therefore prevents low and lower middle income citizens from enjoying the beach. We can not allow any further such developments.

8. We are not against theme parks, marinas, expo centres and expensive hotels and condominiums, but it is our considered opinion that for environmental and social reasons the area between the coastal road and the high water mark should be unencroached, construction free and accessible to the public free of cost as is the case in other South and South-East Asian countries and in the developed world.

9. The Karachi Coastal Management Plan, prepared in 1989 by the KDA Master Plan Department with UN assistance, as part of the Karachi Development Plan 2000, had recommended a 50 metre construction free accessible zone beyond the high water mark. We feel that this Coastal Management Plan should be followed.

10. As children we have had free and unrestricted access to Clifton Beach as did our parents. Our children (in some cases our grand children) should also enjoy the same benefit.

11. We derive strength from the fact that 4,665 persons belonging to 73 CBOs and NGOs from all over Pakistan and individuals belonging to 89 low and lower middle income areas of Karachi have supported concerns of the Sahil Bachao Movement whose concerns are similar to ours.

[All Karachiites and friends of Karachi are welcome and encouraged to sign]

Click to view petition at

For more information or to find out how to volunteer in this campaign
contact Arif Hasan ( or Tehera Hasan (

Printed here with permission from Sahil Bachao Movement. Organized by Arif Hasan.
The petition is being hosted at RabitaZone (RZone) as a public service.


Anonymous said...

Beaches are for the people of Pakistan, even if they get converted into a 5 star hotel, people should have access as public beaches as most of the US California beaches do the same

Anonymous said...

this is sooo rotten ........ the only source of entertainment for the poor .... i love the beach even though were very busy but once a year every one goes there ........ this is not development !!!! Its commercialization

Anonymous said...

developments should be done but the natural outlook should always remain the same. one can plant trees and make the place cleaner and greener to enhance natural environment but it should always be accessible to the common man without any charges. additional benefits should be charged like for example we can have motor boats, para-sailing and many more water sports as available in many parts of the world

Anonymous said...

Look at developed states like Dubai, where the ruler has ordered not to restrict the beach from the general public as it belongs to public. Things are more beautiful if they are open to public Do not try to confine Karachiities just in few kms

Asif A Chaudhri said...

As a SCUBA Diving Instructor I have dived in this area for 27 years. Recently the marine life has faced many hazards from Global warming to sea pollution along our shoreline. This beach development will have further negative impact on the marine environment by speeding up the pollution process many times over. The future generations will never forgive us for this destruction.

Adeel Lakhani said...

This ain't South Beach Miami !!!

Ayesha Soomro said...

I agree with this petition, there are so few places for karachi residents to go and hang out for recreation. Myself, my husband and our group of friends wait anxiously for the weekends so we can head out to the beach and bar.b.q and fish and just relax and unwind. I can't even begin to contemplate life without the option of driving to a location where there is nothing but fresh air.

Ammar said...

We need to find a balance between commercialism and free public use where both benefit from each other

Javaid Lotia said...

Do we really want OUR (this city does not belong to the people in Islamabad) to become another Dubai?! Heaven Forbid!

Anonymous said...
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Umair Jafri said...

Well, this can be a road to development and tourism in Pakistan. Instead of 20 story buildings, there should be 50 story buildings, there will still be access to the beaches through the theme parks and hotels. The standards of living will rise, there will be increase in the GDP. but there should be some limitations, in which the area should be developed.

Yasir said...

All Sahil Bachao people are crazy! what sahil are they talking about? the one full of garbage, where one decent family cant go to have a nice picnic, the one with no clean sea side resort or a resturant, the one with worn down paradise point and filthy sands of hawksbay? wake up people, this is probably the best opportunity karachi is ever gonna get....who says normal citizens wont be able to visit the beaches? tell me who??? dont believe in Hearsay! let us progress you wornout minded enemies of pakistan! wake up! Live and let live.
yasir malik