Sunday, December 07, 2008

Karachi Coastline Under Threat!

On Saturday, 8th of March, which by the way is also International Womens Day SHEHRI-CBE, and DHARTI - A Coalition of Civil Society, in collaboration with Friedrich Naumann Stiftung FÜR DIE FREIHEIT will be hosting a seminar about Karachi's coastline, and the threat it is under.

This seminar is a continuation of the Sahil Bacho movement. To RSVP email and also a Facebook Event has been setup, courtesy Friends of Karachi, in the Silicon Valley.

Dharti Members:
Baanhn Beli, The Helpline Trust, HRCP, Indus Earth, Institute of Architects, Pakistan (IAP), Karachi Women’s Peace Committee, Maheegir Tehrik, PILER, Sahil Bachao, Shehri- CBE, Sindh Participatory Organization (SPO), Shirkatgah, WWF-Pakistan, Women Action Forum (WAF), War Against Rape (WAR), Pakistan Fisher Folk Forum

1 comment:

Arif Belgaumi said...


For the record and nothing more. The Sahil Bachao Coalition was a civil society organization that formed last spring to try and stop DHA's plans to develop the public beaches of Clifton. We held a few demos and protest marches which we decided to stop after the May 12th massacre. It became apparent to us that this was largely an elitist exercise and that the masses were not going to turn out to support us. Nor were we political enough to mobilize large numbers other than our own friends. We considered litigation as a possible next step. This seemed like a good option with the courts in such an activist mood - especially after the July reinstatement of the CJ. However, in order to get the official version of DHAs plans we met with Brig Javed Ashraf, in-charge of the DHA waterfront development. He reassured us that there were no immediate plans to develop the beach beyond the current ongoing projects. DHA is developing the stretch from Marina Club to the Golf Club as a park/promenade. After the Golf Club is the Creek Marina hi-rise project then from there to the desalination plant is open coastline - for now. Immediately after the desal plant is Emaar Crescent Bay development which is a 100 acres. Interestingly that reclamation has resulted in creating new beaches. Then from there to Village restaurant are plots for houses and then the beach all the way to McD. After our meeting we basically ran out of steam it would seem. Then of course we all know what happened to all the judicial activism.
Recently, I met the Brig and he pointed out to me that the day before while inaugurating the desalination plant the president had made a statement in the press asking the DHA to not develop the beach between Village and McD's. So it would seem that the Sahil Bachao Coalition was successful in raising public awareness and in convincing the authorities to shelf an unsustainable and irresponsible project.
However, the job is far from done. The beach from McD to the Harbour mouth is still at grave risk. KPT has its own plans. There is also a deep water port being worked on that will be located on the outside of East Wharf. I have yet to see a Environmental Impact Study done of that project. All sorts of raw sewage and other pollution enters the sea at Clifton. It is criminal that people are allowed to bathe there.

The Dharti Coalition is a separate coalition of several CSO's and NGO's that was formed to address the concerns of the environment and public rights in the face of ill-considered development. The first project that we have taken up is the Hawksbay / Sugarland City behemoth but our goal is to look at the overall development picture of the region.
Cheerio for now.