Money talks..

.. and can get officials to allow building signals on a fast-moving, multimillion ruppee, signal-less corridor funded by the city govt. and KPT as well!

Unfortunately, this did not come to me as a surprise. The KPT and CDGK has spent millions of rupees in the last couple of months, to create a signal less corridor from Jinnah bridge right onto Korangi. This resulted in wide roads with fast moving traffic, which unfortunately did not leave much room for pedestrians to cross.

My assumption was, that like other areas, once the road development is complete, pedestrian bridges would’ve been errected on this road to facilitate them. This solution, however, did not suit the Aga Khani community living in and around clifton. Their jamat khanas is one of the most active of jamat-khanas i know about, with something happening every second day. This requires a lot of people living on the opposite side of the road, to cross it and attend the meetings and go back. A fast-moving road was not good news…. and so, after god knows what amount of bribes and cajoling, they errected their very own signal in that place! The second such signal in Karachi, with the first being near Aga Khan University Hospital.

So much for the whole project. Whats next?

17 Comments so far

  1. danny (unregistered) on July 11th, 2006 @ 1:27 am

    Why didn’t they just build a pedestrian bridge right in front of their jamaat khaana instead of erect a traffic light.

  2. ahmed (unregistered) on July 11th, 2006 @ 4:04 am

    In Kharadar they have a big jamaat khana too its on the main road though the road is not that wide but they have these volunteers. They will stop all traffic let their folks cross the road There is a bus stop too and they wont allow any bus/taxi/rickshaw to stop there not even people. If you question them they will reply in a rude manner. There used to be a pedastrian bridge too but they never used that and now the bridge has been scrapped. This is one very powerful and influential community

  3. verysmart (unregistered) on July 11th, 2006 @ 4:41 am

    Whats the point mansoor, we are a defeatist bunch and we will remain indifferent to whatver may happen… why even raise the matter??

    Well, Lets write to GEO TV and hope they can ask our dear nazim to do something about it

  4. Kumail (unregistered) on July 11th, 2006 @ 5:45 am

    i agree – people should voice their protest. I respect the contribution of the said community to the development of the city and the country however no one is above the law, or at least no one should be. In light of that, either the community should consider an alternative solution. If its a annual thing than exceptions could be made something that happens on a daily/weekly basis should not be allowed to disrupt the plans to improve the traffic conditions

  5. alybaba (unregistered) on July 11th, 2006 @ 9:19 am

    This is a failure of city planners. You can’t build a pedestrian overpass because of the large number of senior citizens who cross that – an overpass would be atleast 30 feet high to accomodate trucks, which would be a burden on all the senior citizens. In addition, I’m sure the overpass was scraped because of the cost – its cheaper to just build a signal. City planning is supposed to take into account the needs of the residents and how it affects them, and we all know how it is in our country. Similarly with Sharah-e-Faisal – the overpasses would be a huge burden on our elders, which is not right. If you’re going to build signal free roads they have to be elevated so local traffic and pedestrians can move about too.

  6. IllusionFS (unregistered) on July 11th, 2006 @ 9:40 am

    Alybaba: The pedestrian bridges are not financed by the City Government, infact the city government is paid installments as well as bribes in order to get a contract of building a pedestrian bridge.

  7. UnholySaint (unregistered) on July 11th, 2006 @ 11:30 am

    Man, Mansoor is going right after the Aga Khanis these days! Whats the matter man.. Did she turn you down or something? ;)

    Aga Khanis are a very well organized community. Come to the US or even the UK and you will really see their power into play. I think we should learn from them instead of hating them. Look, they wanted something and they got it accomplished.

    Nomatter what their faith, I completely admire their unity and organizational skills.

  8. mansoor (unregistered) on July 11th, 2006 @ 12:32 pm

    danny: i wonder that too…

    ahmed: their volunteers here too.. they even get the traffic police to help them control traffic.

    verysmart: ‘we are a defeatist bunch’? sadly, i agree :(

    kumail: “people should voice their protest” is excatly why this post is here… when something is the law.. everyone should abide by it!

    alybaba: take a look at the new bridges on shahrah-e-faisal (i’ll post about them soon too). They have a very gentle slope as well as a staircase, which im told is for the disabled people, but can also be used by the elderly. I agree on elevated roads, but that sort of infrastructure usually comes as a last resort, and we havent reached that stage yet.

    illusionFS: very rightly so. They give out contracts for pedestrian bridges on a Built-Operate-Transfer (BOT) basis, and the builders use the ad space to get a return on their investment.

    unholysaint: LoL! not everything is about a broken heart dude! haha. Aga Khanis are very well-organized and i will give them credit for that, i will give you that, but thats true for all communities which are in minority. They do tend to stick together. Aga khanis stick together a lot since they have no country of their own (yet).

  9. Imran (unregistered) on July 11th, 2006 @ 9:49 pm

    you’ve blatantly accused the Aga Khanis for “bribing and cajoling” to a have a pedestrian signal made outside the Aga Khan Hospital….

    That signal was made because the thousands of sick patients who flock to the hospital every day had no way to cross the freakin’ street to get to the hospital entrance without being run over by traffic speedsters who never had the courtesy to give them the right of way… the result was a large number of pedestrian deaths and every other day.

    so before you get on your self righteous and ignorant high horse, please take a moment to review the facts before spouting your ‘wisdom’ on others…
    and no, in case you are thinking… i am not an aga khani… just happen to work there as a doctor for seven years as an emergency doctor and so have seen more bleeding limbs and crushed heads than you can imagine!

  10. SWA (unregistered) on July 11th, 2006 @ 10:00 pm

    Whatever the reason was, the bottom line is that a signal has been built at a place that should have been for a pedestrian bridge. We should all voice our concerns actively to the city nazim, dawn and other media to make sure that we get a disabled-accessible pedestrian bridge at the location and not a traffic light.

  11. Original-Anon (unregistered) on July 11th, 2006 @ 10:17 pm

    I have read the post and comments and am shaking my head in disbelief and disgust. The way the Aga Khanis have been referred to is amazing. Do you not consider them Karachi residents just as the rest of you are? What is this them and us attitude?

  12. mansoor (unregistered) on July 11th, 2006 @ 11:49 pm

    imran: calm down yaar.. i am not contesting the signal at Aga Khan Hospital. im talking about the one at clifton! Tell me whats the case for that?

    original-anon: they are very much residents of karachi, and have the same rights as the rest of us. But if any one section/community of the city decides they are above the law and can ‘special priviledges’ and basically screw up whatever good work the CDGK is trying to do.. then it really does become them vs. us! No one is above the law…

  13. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on July 12th, 2006 @ 11:26 am

    Aghakhani is no doubt very well organised community in Pakistan.Their social system is also very strong.I can just wish that other communities follow them too.

  14. IllusionFS (unregistered) on July 12th, 2006 @ 2:50 pm

    Mansoor: Its just a signal buddy.. Do you know that on a single call of the ‘Council’ (or whatever they call their admin at a jamaat khana) to the Government of Karachi, the Nazims run to the Jamaat-Khanaas (high priority) to sort their problems out. They are powerful. They are rich, organised.. The elitest bank is owned by them, the best hospital is run by them. So I guess, power combined with money gives them the affordability to do almost anything…

  15. mansoor (unregistered) on July 12th, 2006 @ 3:15 pm

    illusionFS: your right ofcourse. and thats the point behind this post…

  16. Poo Poo Head (unregistered) on July 13th, 2006 @ 6:51 am

    Only losers do complain. I have learned that if you can’t compete in this world then you would just complain. Either break it or just accept it. Don’t complain. We all should respect power.

  17. Saad Shah (unregistered) on July 17th, 2006 @ 1:10 am

    I’d like to pin point one thing. Are we so incurtious tha we cant even stop for pedestrians to cross the road? So what if it’s a signal free corridor. When we talk about right, then I believe it’s the right of the pedestrian to cross a road. And if we cant even do that, then we shouldn’t complain about a singnal, legally or otherwise, to aid it!!

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