'City of the Young' Part V: An Ocean Terminal for Mangaluru

July 4, 2017

"Water is the driving force of all nature." - Leonardo Da Vinci

Many of the world’s most interesting cities are developed right along the sea front. Oceans have spurred the growth of magnificent cities in different parts of the world. Cities and towns that developed on the waterfront have a distinct culture different from the mainland. Seaside towns have now grown up into picturesque harbor cities. Countries around the world have developed their harbour zones into amazing attractions.

Ocean Terminal, Hongkong, is a marvelous place of 2 million square feet of shopping malls, entertainment, dining and sightseeing.

Sydney Harbor has been developed into an iconic landmark, comprising of harborside walk, ferries, yachts and kayaks. Famous landmarks like the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbor Bridge have been developed into world famous landmarks.

Singapore boasts of the second largest port in the world. The entire economic prosperity of Singapore revolves around its port.

Dubai Creek Harbor is a modern port developed as a new waterfront destination. Another project unveiled is the 20 million square foot Dubai Harbor project.

Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe. It stretches over a distance of 40 kilometers.

The port of Shanghai in China is the world’s busiest container port. It is administered by the Shanghai International Port.

Can’t we develop our Mangaluru port like how the others all over the world have done? There is no spacecraft technology involved. If all Mangalureans unite and resolve to build a port authority like the Dubai Harbor Project, we can also create wonders here. There must be innumerable Mangaloreans working in this project in Dubai, if only we could seek their help, we can also create a masterpiece on our waterfront. Many nations like Singapore are enjoying immense prosperity, just because of a single port! Unshackle Mangaluru port from bureaucratic and political chains and see the wonders that can happen. My message to all Mangaloreans "Believe and act as if it was impossible to fail." (Charles Kettering)

Mangalureans, "Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers, the believers and the thinkers, but most of all; surround yourself with those who see greatness within you, even when you don’t see it yourself."

To quote former US President Barack Obama’s words "…it’s only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself, that you realize your true potential and discover the role you will play in writing the next great chapter in America’s story".

The youth of Mangaluru should unite and dream of mega projects, tirelessly strive to build a new Mangaluru, face your potential, it’sbeen staring at you for too long. Don’t set limits on your unlimited potential.

Reading about the Dubai Creek Harbor Project, I was simply amazed at the scale of the vision and the thinking of their leaders:

"The Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour reflects the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to establish Dubai as a global hub for business and leisure that attracts visitors from across the world. With this iconic development, Dubai is once again demonstrating its ability to develop first-of-its-kind projects that surprise the world," he further said.

Chairman of Emaar Properties Mohamed Alabbar said: "We are thankful for the guidance and support of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who inspires us to continuously push our boundaries. The Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour is our tribute to the nation, a new architectural marvel that will enhance our civic pride, and contribute to the economy by promoting the tourism sector. The spectacular tower will also frame a new skyline that adds to the cityscape set by Burj Khalifa."

With work on the 19m Pile Cap commencing shortly, The Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour will witness a global team of professionals at work to create another global icon. Designed by Spanish/Swiss architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava Valls, The Tower will feature several observation decks that offer 360 degree views of the city and beyond. Among the highlights are The Pinnacle Room and VIP Observation Garden Decks that recreate the splendour of the ‘Hanging Gardens of Babylon,’ one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

The Tower adds incredible economic value to Dubai Creek Harbour where Emaar has unveiled exceptional residential projects including Creek Gate, Harbour Gate, The Cove, Dubai Creek Residences, Creekside 18, Harbour Views, and Creek Horizon, among others."

I was further amazed to learn that many at the very top of this project are Indians, bulk of them from Dakshina Kannada and Kerala! Why should our youngsters go to foreign shores to ignite their talents? Can’t we create for them the same spirit of innovation, perseverance and dynamism that exists in Dubai in Mangaluru?

We need to create a shared community vision for creating an Ocean Terminal in Mangaluru. Unlike master plans, a vision process does not lock a project into a straitjacket solution. It is a citizen led initiative that specifies a set of goals, ideals to work for, that guides the people to explore new pathways, make breakthroughs, and create an iconic ocean terminal. A vision is flexible and enables gradual implementation. This process being open enables the local people to express their opinion as to what kind of development they want in their area. Mangaluru can take a leaf out of the book of Helsinki, Finland, where The Esplanade has been so designed that it leads from the heart of the city to the waterfront. The way is tree lined with flowerbeds so that everyone can enjoy a pleasurable stroll.

Imagine, if we can have a similar path of coconut groves and flowerbeds. Waterfronts are too valuable to be handed over on a platter to developers to dictate what they will build, how, and in what manner. It is the people’s vision that should dominate. Mangaluru waterfront needs to be designed on the lines of waterfronts of Helsinki, Stockholm, Sydney and Baltimore. Waterfront transformation can lead to revitalization of Mangaluru city.


Dr G ShreeKumar Menon Archives:


By Dr G ShreeKumar Menon, IRS (Rtd), PhD (Narcotics)
Former Director General
National Academy of Customs Excise and Narcotics,
& Multi Disciplinary School Of Economic Intelligence, India
Fellow, James Martin Center For Non Proliferation Studies, USA
Public Administration, Maxwell School of Public Administration, Syracuse University, USA
AOTS Scholar, Japan
Registrar, Yenepoya University, Mangaluru
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Comment on this article

  • Dr.Phirdose, Mangalore

    Fri, Jul 07 2017

    So very true ...one should have a vision which pushes you out of your comfort zone ! Your articles are so full of positivities and possibilities for Mangalore ...change will only come when people have the courage to think big and think out of the box .A society ,a state or nation does not change in the hands of complacent people ..it changes when proactive people take the driver's seat and shift gears !!

  • William D Souza, Mangalore

    Wed, Jul 05 2017

    And a bridge like Bandra, connecting city of Mangalore and hotels... Outstanding vision.... Lot of scope, builders can think of along side business personal. Also sleeping politicians of Mangalore should get up...

  • Kishore, Mangalore

    Wed, Jul 05 2017

    The argument made by author is very fascinating and we Indian feel it's very patriotic to have all the great which other greats have but the mention project is not economically feasible. All above mentioned ports are in top 10 handling containers where as not even a single Indian port is in top 50 list. We can go through China policy of BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME but time has shown us it's not successful idea in India for example privatize Adani port which not as successful as it was hoped. I think so India need a decade or more to support this huge infrastructure till we are a export oriented country and have huge traffic.

  • Taranath, Mangalore

    Wed, Jul 05 2017

    I do agree with your point of the level of Investment required for taking up such mega projects . At this juncture I would like to mention the type of visionary and statesman like Dr B R Shetty who has shown lot of interest in setting up Multi specialty hospital in our region and also keen interest in making Jog falls a sought after tourist destination.
    I feel advise must be taken from Statesman of his stature and like minded citizens to initiate such projects.

  • Taranath, Mangalore

    Tue, Jul 04 2017

    Dear Sir ,
    I appreciate your vision for Mangalore to be a city on similar lines of Singapore or Dubai . In Karnataka we have CRZ regulations which prevents construction of any permanent structures along the coast line. Secondly the land which are available beyond the CRZ zone is private properties. Other important factors will be the development of roads and other infrastructures like hotels / resorts along the coast for the tourist to spend quality time . If you see along the stretch of Gurupoor river (by the side of NMPT road ) where it joins the sea a very good promenade can be developed for the public to sit and relax or take a stroll . I feel there has to be a policy shift in the govt to ammend the laws which will help the development works of the city . Any development activity will generate local employment and the models must be based on self sustainability . At the same time all stake holders must get their dues in good time , for the project to be successful.

  • Samir, Udupi

    Tue, Jul 04 2017

    It's a wonderful vision Dr. Menon, brilliant one but this project would require crores of investment, how would you accomplish that. Young generation of today will do the hardwork, you are creating a fantastic job opportunity for the mangaloreans in various fields under this one project. We need governments or big business tycoons to help make a such a historical project success.

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Tue, Jul 04 2017

    Mangaluru can become India's only city to have an International Airport in the sea ...

  • ravi, mangalore

    Tue, Jul 04 2017

    Mangalores also has a wonderful ocean / river front ...
    However its famous for it stench of drying fish and swarming house flies !!

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