progress at last

the route from my home to office and back takes me through a very “large” construction zone. The almost 5 kilometer road being developed between Jinnah Bridge and Queens bridge. This road has been under construction for more than a year, with all work stopped for the better part of it due to no agreement reached between the KPT (client) and the contractors. When the first contractor started, they took out half of the road and dug almost 3 feet on both sides and then left.. so now, where we used to have a double two lane road.. we now have, at best, a single lane one only. Over the last couple of months, i’ve seen countless trucks and cars falling victim to the diggings as well.

Thankfully, all that changed in the last month as the army has now taken over the project. The digs are being filled in, rollers are visible and it looks like a new road is finally on its way. This morning, the army people put ‘bajri’ (stone filling underneath the road) on a stretch between queens bridge and the caltex pump at sultanabad.. and were sliding rollers over it.

This project was given to civil contractors through a bidding process (as i understand it).. halfway through they demanded more money and when their demands were not met, they took up and left in the middle. The contract was then awarded to another civilian contractor.. who came in, undid some of the previous work and started demanding more money and left…. then a third came and the same case repeated all over again. Finally the army (FWO) took over and work’s progressing smoothly since…

Is it still a wonder why this country only works under military rule?

some more success stories of the Frontier Works Organization (FWO) in Karachi
Upgrading the road from FTC to (now old) Hino Chorangi.
Clifton underpass
Upgrading roads from submarine chowk all the way down to and through mai kolachi
and these are just the large projects “I” know about.. im sure there are more

11 Comments so far

  1. Khum (unregistered) on June 21st, 2006 @ 10:32 am

    Im not fond of miltary rule. However u mentioned a valid point.
    “Yeah Qaum dunday kay zoor pur chalti hai!”

  2. Poo Poo Head (unregistered) on June 21st, 2006 @ 1:05 pm

    I am sorry but do not tell that Army is doing all this free of cost. What ever army contractors demand , they give to them. Pakistani Forces[esp. Army] have very common perception that all the civilians are dishonest and they are the chosen one. I wish I could show you the list of 600+ civilian posts which are held right now by retired forces officers.

    Army sucks when they take charge of govt. Dictatorship always causes more harm in long run even if you see some benefits in short term[just go via world history].Any politician any day over dictator Musharraf.

    Stop praising ARMY and their affiliates.

  3. Cy (unregistered) on June 21st, 2006 @ 6:40 pm

    The reason that civilian contractors struggle to complete projects is that they have to meet the corrupt demands of bureaucrats. The army is so powerful that low level bureaucrats dare not challenge them. That’s not to say the army isn’t corrupt – it’s just that civilians usually can’t demand a share in the pie.

    As for the quality of the work – anyone remember the nightmare that Mai Kolachi was when it rained? I think Cowasjee has written on the incompetence of the FWO in the past.

  4. SWA (unregistered) on June 21st, 2006 @ 7:39 pm

    I guess those civilian contractors would have also done a good job if they had gotten their money from the CDGK as they were promised!

  5. turab (unregistered) on June 21st, 2006 @ 10:05 pm


    Jo Mushi ka ghaddar hai
    woh maut ka HUQDAAR hai!

    plus he is from karachi! its like icing on the top!

  6. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on June 22nd, 2006 @ 10:44 am

    Why cursing the army when we bring them ourselves? we chose corrupt politicians ourselves who keeps fingering in army[look what bhutto,benzari and nawaz did with army chiefs] and when those army heads react then same politicians start whining about democracy.I second with poo that army considered themselves *the chosen one* but none of us realize that what make them to come back again and again.From Ayub Khan to Musharraf,every army general came in power due to stupidity of politicians.So basically its our fault and we should screw ourself first before we blame politicians and army men.

  7. mansoor (unregistered) on June 22nd, 2006 @ 11:36 am

    turab! i totally agree with you! Whereever the head of state is from.. that city gets built up! Just look at lahore, faisalabad and jhelum!

    That brings me to think… is all the development in karachi due to the nazim(s) or mushi himself?!

    adnan: i agree… the army has always come in when the politicians have failed.. and everytime the army was here (with the exception of maybe yahyah khan) those years were regarded as the “golden years” of pakistans history.

    cy and pph: i still believe, the army is the lessor of both evils ;)

  8. Adil (unregistered) on June 22nd, 2006 @ 12:30 pm

    The rates of steel, cement and all other construction material have DOUBLED in the past few months. Private contractors’ demands are justified in this regard, but what is unknown to us is the actual agreement/committment made. If the contractors had made a committment then they are at fault. If not, then CDGK is, for now paying them as per market rates of material.

    Additionally, as others have mentioned, to get a contract with CDGK, there are cuts to be paid all the way from the Nazim to the lowest person, which can be up to 20%. How can private contractors compete?

    As far as the army, as others have mentioned, it gets what it wants. Plus the CDGK is cosying up to them as that money is going into the pocket of a general, who will return some favors too.

    It’s all part of the despicable system in Pakistan. Unfortunately, the regular people suffer 99.99% of the time (the commuters on those roads and those living there). Doesn’t make any difference to the CDGK, MQM or Army. They get their cut (and votes) either way.

  9. yo yo (unregistered) on June 22nd, 2006 @ 8:17 pm

    Whatever or whoever gets the work done…We can spend all the time in finding mistakes. But I am with whom gets the job done.

  10. mansoor (unregistered) on June 23rd, 2006 @ 12:52 am

    Adil: the prices may have doubled over the last year, but howcome its the fault of the contractor? Its one of the risks in the construction business, especially when the whole thing is awarded at fixed price. By the way, if prices have doubled, how to explain the scores of “other” constructions going around in the city? i can name atleast 5 high rises just on sharah-e-faisal which are actively under construction.. plus am seeing others everywhere i go.. ?

    yo yo: finally! someone reading the post for what it was supposed to be! thankyou yo yo!

  11. verysmart (unregistered) on June 23rd, 2006 @ 4:51 am

    Can someone please take that “Maut ka haqadaar” sick sense of ryhming off this blog???

    Turaab… I adore our President totally and wish he could stay for atleast 10 more years, however we all must realize that auditing the government and its rule is the right of people.

    I know you have put this post as a joke, what I want to point is the national inferiority complex and personality worshipping sickness, that has poisoned our thinking, by including ideology from Indian subcultures.

    Dear Moderators, can we have a full form discussion on this topic please???

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