Saahil Bachao...SAVE Karachi's Beaches
City District Government - Karachi
Beach Front Protection Citizens Group - Karachi
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WE, THE CITIZENS GROUP OF KARACHI FOR PROTECTION OF THE BEACH FRONT DEMAND AN END TO DHAs BEACH DEVELOPMENT PLAN:
1. We, the undersigned citizens of Karachi oppose DHAs Beach Development Plan and demand an immediate end to its implementation as it prevents the common persons 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 MacDonalds 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 Pakistans 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 Beach front 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.