Lakeshore City

This Week 50 Years Ago : Ghee, Tugs and Shrine Preservation

October 9, 2023

ALTHOUGH the city’s ghee scarcity crisis had been alleviated to some extent, the situation was far from under control. On September 25, 1973, it was revealed that the Food Department was gathering demographic statistics by area in order to ensure a consistent supply of vegetable ghee. It was done to ascertain the actual demand for and supply of the commodity in such places. One of the reasons for the shortfall was believed to be uneven distribution to merchants.

This was hardly the only food-related story in the news that week. Ramazan, the Islamic holy month, had already begun. On September 30, it was reported that due to the high prices of fruit and sweetmeats, many were hesitant to purchase them for iftari. In comparison to the previous year, shop attendance was lower. On the first day of Ramazan, prices had increased by 10% to 40%.

Money made headlines in a different way on September 27 when a masked armed man looted a bank in the Khadda area after a holdup operation that netted him barely Rs15000. The bandit locked up the entire bank personnel in the safe room and fled with the cash in the cashier’s drawer. It happened about 11:15 a.m., when the bank’s security was on his way to the head office to deliver mail.

The robber was also unaware that Rs55,000 was lying in an open safe beside the cashier’s counter. After 20 minutes, a man called Sajjad arrived at the facility to cash a cheque but discovered that the bank was closed. Meanwhile, those imprisoned in the strong room began to yell. Sajjad assisted them in getting out.

But it wasn’t all dread and gloom. On September 25, the first of two tugs ‘Dalma’ built by Karachi Shipyard for the Abu Dhabi government was inaugurated in a colorful event attended by diplomats, shipping line representatives, and local leaders. The tug was one of the most powerful tugs in the zone, with a bollard pull of 15 tonnes and 1,225 BHP. The second tug, ‘Velma,’ was supposed to be ready in three weeks. On the occasion, Abdullah Darvish Ahmed, UAE Ambassador to Pakistan, stated that the Abu Dhabi administration was very delighted with the construction work.

From the sea to the temple. The Department of Archaeology stated on September 30 that development, maintenance, and beautifying of the Manghopir Shrine and its surrounds had begun. According to a piece in this newspaper, the Pir Mangho temple, which is surrounded by docile crocodiles, sulphur springs, and Chawkandi burials, has the potential to promote tourism in the city.

Regrettably, the entire area had been neglected. The Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) said that the site was part of their tour schedule, but no tourists wanted to visit because it was filthy and unpleasant. The PTDC had failed to develop an improvement strategy. As a result, the Department of Archaeology took action under the 1968 Antiquities Act.

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