Archive for April, 2008

Is Shahrah-e-Faisal still your choice?

Ali Adnan Qazalbash explains why many people take any other route than SF.View Full Image

By the mid of 2005 Shahrah-e-Faisal (Faisal Highway) used to be the fastest way of traveling from southern Karachi to north-east part of city and vice versa i.e. Karachi Airport. Now a days many people avoid using this highway during rush hours of evening as a huge tide of traffic pass through this time of week days.

Do we really need more power?

Continuing in the vein of my previous post, I would like to express a similar thought related to the electricity crisis we are facing these days.

Analysts keep predicting that Karachi needs 500 more megawatts or 1000 more megawatts, whereas my belief is that what Karachi needs is a swift cleanup drive. KESC should put their act back together and get rid of all ‘kundas’ and ‘direct connections’. I know for a fact that quite a few of my neighbors are utilizing direct connections, as they have both their ACs’ on for almost 24 hours throughout the summer. And I am sure most Karachiites have seen those notorious ‘kundas’ (illegal connections) that plague the city. They are not only a safety hazard, but also result in the KESC not getting money, or worse, getting it from the wrong person.

Once all the illegal connections are gone, and people are really paying for what they are using, not only will the revenue of KESC increase, but people will be more careful of their electricity usage. Here’s to hoping that we are able to see a kunda-free Karachi in the near future!

Fire broke out at New Sindh Secretariat building

Breaking NEWS : Fire broke out at 6th floor in New Sindh Secretariat building. (more…)

Car and Motorcycle Boycott

Credit: Adnan Siddiqi

PPP and MQM finalised power sharing formula

Breaking News:-
Reports coming in suggest there has been a breakthrough in a crucial meeting between PPP and MQM and a final formula has been agreed upon by both sides to run the future gov. in Sindh. MQM will get its share through 8 ministries and 5 advisory positions. Asif Ali Zardari who is in Dubai at the moment has also given his approval on this agreement. We may hear a press conference shortly this even or tomorrow probably.

More soon . . .

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.

Experts back CDGK in latest tussle with Sindh gov

Experts (even COWASJEE ) have supported CDGK’s stance on KWSB and KBCA in a latest tussle (here here) with provincial gov. which may well decide the future shape of relations between the two sides i.e PPP and MQM. Personally from what i have been able to gather i too stay on CDGKs side. While all of us (especially me) dont spare CDGK for any shortcomings its unjust to take them to task when they are not fully empowered.

It has become a tradition to just throw every other evil into CDGK’s lap so when they talk about unity of command and control and coordination experts believe they are right. Today’s DAWN reports this story on the latest legal (and political) battle that has just began. A seminar on Karachi Strategic Development Plan-2020 organised by NGO Shehri. Ronald D’Souza of Shehri had this to say :
“We as Shehri believe that these two areas (water and sanitation and building control) should be with the city government”

On Thursday, the Sindh government through two notifications took over the administrative control of the KWSB and the KBCA and appointed Local Government Minister Agha Siraj Durrani as the authority and chairman of the two bodies, respectively. However, the city government, in retaliation, issued two notifications on Friday in pursuance of the earlier orders of the Sindh government and made the KWSB and the KBCA as water and sanitation and building control groups of offices.

Read FULL STORY

Not a good start

PPP and MQM are heading towards a coalition gov. in Sindh but the ground realities are not as sweet as the media is trying to portray. No matter how how many flowers and smiles are exchanged at 90 and Bilawal house the fact remains the leaders are more into how to divide the pizza then to serve the ordinary man. If there is a will it will be translated to action but if there isn’t any we are not going to hear good coming out of Karachi in future. Following news report is not a good start for the future coalition if they have learned anything from past. The need is to resolve the differences within and especially not to bring it into public where the differences are translated into practical show of strength by party workers.

Where in Karachi #121

WIK

A very easy one!

Keep the change?

I drive a car with CNG (as does a majority of the population in Karachi). However, one trend that I have noticed is that CNG pump people tend to round up the amount to the nearest rupee when you pay. Even though it makes a little sense when you are dealing with cash, they do the same thing when using prepaid cards.

There is one specific PSO pump at the foot of Karsaz flyover on Shara-e-Faisal which I pass daily on the way to work. Because it is mostly empty at the time I pass it (around 7:30am), I tend to fill up if I am low on CNG. Further, I have a PSO fuel card (thanks UBL Credit Card!) which I sometimes use to pay. Today, the amount was 168.76, and the guy had charged me 169.00 (on the fuel card). When I asked him why he didn’t charge 168.76, he said something about them not having the correct system to process decimal places. I got out and showed him the decimal point on the keypad of the machine, and then he sheepishly admitted that it is their usual practice to round up. He also said that they round down if the fractional part is less than 50 paisa, but I have never seen this personally except for at a few pumps. Mostly these people just round up.

I know that after I left, they must have been wondering what a cheapskate I am to be complaining about 24 paisas, but my question is this: even though it is just a matter of a few paisas, is it right to do this? What are your thoughts?

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