KARACHI: Commissioner Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui has asked Defence Housing Authority, Karachi Port Trust, Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), Port Qasim Authority and other relevant departments to take immediate measures for the safety of beach visitors during a conference on Wednesday.
More than seven million people visit the beaches of Karachi every year, said Siddiqui, emphasising the importance of ensuring the safety of the general public and avoiding a future repetition of the Sea View tragedy.
The beach safety conference discussed upcoming public holidays, including August 14 and Eidul Azha, when thousands of people are expected to visit the beach. The participants further stressed the need for public awareness and appealed to parents to keep an eye on their children.
"Beach safety is a vital issue," said Siddiqui. "We need to work harder and take appropriate steps." He appreciated the efforts of rescue teams, including those of the Pakistan Navy (PN).
Pakistan Peoples Party leader Najmi Alam, KMC administrator Rauf Akhtar Farooqui and officials from the PN, Pakistan Maritime Security, and the livestock and fisheries department also attended the conference, sharing their experiences and suggestions.
"The role of the KMC is crucial," Farooqui asserted. He informed the participants that the KMC had a complete rescue infrastructure, which included a 24-hour rescue centre at Sea View. The participants decided to reconvene in 15 days to discuss safety measures. A core group consisting of members of different departments and civil society activists was also constituted to present long, medium and short-term steps for beach safety.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th,2014.