Port Grand, not so grand

I’m just happy that I got back from the much talked-about Port Grand without any major respiratory issues.

Sarah Khan June 19, 2011
I’m just happy that I got back from the much talked-about Port Grand without any major respiratory issues.

The mega entertainment and food complex, where Governor of Sindh Dr Ishratul Ebad claimed people would find peace and comfort, turned out to be quite the opposite. In order to catch up with the rest of Karachi, my family also decided to visit the recreational project that hopes to become a top tourist destination of the country. After having heard numerous positive tales of the food street there, it was only natural that we had high expectations of the place.

Therefore, when I was told Sunday night we will be visiting the place, I jumped in jubilation. Due to no parking space anywhere near the venue, we were told to get off the car and start walking towards the gate. There we joined scores of other people, mostly families, in the march. Finally, after a good ten-minute walk on the road, we came close to the gate of Port Grand only to be greeted by an ever-growing line for tickets.

The queue took a while to reach the ticket counter but this wait did not reduce our eagerness to go to what many claim to be “Thailand in Pakistan.” As we walked closer and closer to the main food street, the swarms of people choked us more and more. With barely enough space to walk, we pushed through people while checking out the restaurants and coffee shops on the left.  Alfresco dining places did not have enough chairs while the other restaurants were full, not accommodating any more customers. Therefore, for an hour or two we were forced to walk around without giving our tired legs a break.

As if this wasn’t enough disappointment, I was further shocked to find out that a small water bottle at even a random stall cost Rs75. The exorbitant prices of food items were not justified as the food quality was sub-par. Those in charge should keep a limit on how many people should be allowed in the food street at a time, so that the place doesn’t get packed like sardines in a can. This would help people like me enjoy the beauty of a harbour-based social and recreational space.
Sarah Khan A sub-editor on the sport pages of The Express Tribune
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


HIK | 12 years ago | Reply There was valet parking when I went. The crowd was decent. It was crowded but not choked.
osama chhaya | 12 years ago | Reply I think I quite agree with what you've got to say but the fact is, how can you stop people from coming?? The simple answer- don't go on a weekend!! I went there for the first time on Sunday and our car got stranded among other hundreds of cars. So its better to go on a week day, say Friday. Thats what i did. As for your concerns regarding the accommodation I personally asked the manager of Aylanto Bistro, the man said that there are two more floors for each restaurant being constructed to accommodate the huge numbers of people coming in. Well, we all have to remember that Port Grand has not been even completed yet. As for the prices, I agree with Sana that they're quite elevated.The fact that it is new and has been able to grab the attention of the public has encouraged elevated prices but i'm sure they'll drop in a few moths. However, I personally think that the place is phenomenal regardless of the elevated prices and the accommodation crisis. It had a soothing effect on me and I'm pretty sure that if u go there on a week day you'll agree with me.
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