Does Karachi really need flyovers?

Looking around all the construction in the city, I always wonder, do we really need all of this? Is our traffic volume really so much that the existing infrastructure is inadequate?

I take a look at the wide roads which have the capacity of 4-6 lanes on each side, but they are blocked by parking and double parking, and the occasional “gadha gaari” as well as the countless “thelawalas”, in effect leaving barely enough space for one car to move. I take a look at the sidewalks which have been dug up and not been repaired, forcing people to walk on the streets, blocking the road.

I think that if only our people had more civic sense, they didn’t’ park their  cars anywhere they wanted, if they preferred to walk a couple of minutes rather than double park, if they knew how to drive carefully and civilly, maybe we wouldn’t have needed to spend so much money on flyovers and expanded roads.

Karachi has enough infrastructure, wide enough roads, adequate sidewalks. What it doesn’t have is citizens with a civic sense. What it doesn’t have is a solution for the root cause. I hope we stop treating the symptom, and focus on treating the root cause.

15 Comments so far

  1. shoaib on April 27th, 2008 @ 7:17 pm

    Interesting post. Either we need to give the traffic and civic sense to the people or we make Flyovers/underpasses. Just think which is easier. The other thing is definately there is not ample space for parking and only multy story parking plazas can ease this problem. Karachi desperately needs Metro and Mass Transit system. Without it, the traffic problem will remain the same.

  2. Shamsi (shamsi) on April 27th, 2008 @ 8:33 pm

    PERMENANT Encroachment removal, Rule of Law, Human Tolerance, Civic sense & Mass transit system, is the ALL TIME NEED.

    Karachi have much better road infrastructure then LONDON altogether., we only need better traffic & human management.

  3. zeeshan on April 27th, 2008 @ 9:26 pm

    That sounds so good and all but the fact is that this approach is not going to work here.

  4. sawj on April 28th, 2008 @ 12:05 am

    Actually, Karachi does need flyovers and underpasses. Your point about inducing civic sense into drivers is very valid but hard to achieve. With over 600 cars being registered in Karachi everyday you can’t really complain about the need for more infrastructure. The flyovers on Hasan Square, Jauhar More, Sohrab Goth and the underpasses at Nazimabad, Gharibabad and Liaquatabad have eased traffic problems to a great extent.

  5. wildanjel on April 28th, 2008 @ 5:20 am

    still waiting for d0ct0r’s criticising anti MQM comments on this topic.

    d0ct0r should quit MB. Quit d0ct0r Quit. Start your own anti MQM blog.

  6. voice on April 28th, 2008 @ 9:34 am

    A boy in Karachi commited sucide after the misbehaviour of recovery staff of the MCB Bank , please some author also start a post on this topic , misbehaviours of recovery staff and ill services of banks especially MCB are becoming a matter of daily frustration for the customers.

  7. shoaib on April 28th, 2008 @ 1:17 pm

    Yes the incident mentioned by VOICE needs to started as a post.

  8. faylasuf on April 28th, 2008 @ 2:32 pm

    "Root Cause"

    Yes we need the Mass Transit system, wider roads or underpasses can’t address the problem.

    Just drop London and Germany for a while, take a look at Dubai (convenient example) and the traffic mess ppl face every day which has actually prompted the concerned to take action and come up with a solution.

    You can only improve on the situation if the over all traffic flow is reduced, which is only possible if the number of ‘one person per automobile’ is reduced

    On a lighter note, Govt has realized this and found an easy solution; “increase the fuel prices twice a month”!

  9. Shamsi (shamsi) on April 28th, 2008 @ 4:33 pm

    1st May being holiday.. 2nd May we all will see an increment of approx Rs.3 per liter on petrol.

    Am not sure about many here, but many in my neighborhood have switched to smaller CNG cars, BIG Sedans & SUV are only for weekend or some Family events.

    as very rightly said by faylasuf increase the fuel price in proportion to international market., and we can breath more fresh air and feel less stressed due to traffic chaos.

    am CNG guy since 1998…. ! so am still doing my miles as usual :)

  10. shoaib on April 28th, 2008 @ 5:57 pm

    so you mean finish the poors not the poverty. What a strange idea, nothing to agree about it.

  11. sawj on April 28th, 2008 @ 7:25 pm

    When the PML Q was in power, all tv channels were bashing them for high oil prices. Now that PPP is in power, it suddenly becomes the need of the government to increase them, according to Kamran Khan. How biased are they? If PML-Q was bad, PPP is much worse. Hell, they’ve been in power twice and what did we get? Why take sides with them?

  12. Do we really need more power? | Karachi Metblogs (pingback) on April 28th, 2008 @ 10:25 pm

    […] in the vein of my previous post, I would like to express a similar thought related to the electricity crisis we are facing these […]

  13. balma on April 29th, 2008 @ 1:05 am

    I don’t know if anyone realizes that most Pakistanis, educated or uneducated, are uncivilized and ill-mannered. There is no concept of any civic sense of any type in Pakistan, despite big bhaashans on Islam being mukammal zaabitaa-e-hayaat. In fact I have a little bit different point of view about Karachi traffic. You can build a flyover or an underpass on every intersection in Karachi, but the retards (educated and uneducated) driving in Karachi will still manage to cause traffic jams.

  14. sawj on April 29th, 2008 @ 12:15 pm

    How true!

  15. faylasuf on April 29th, 2008 @ 3:33 pm

    i wasnt actually supporting a "solution" by referrin to the twice a month fuel rates revision. by playin with the fuel rates you gear up a bigger cycle which at the end kills every one.

    n yea balma i agree with you 100%,
    parhay likhay jahil kam nahi hain aik dhoondo hazar miltay hain.

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