Archive for June, 2008

In other blogs- The Best Planned Localities of Pakistan: North Nazimabad, Karachi

Usually, in this series, we tend to pick up the topic discussed in other blogs that are relevant to Karachi and expand on them but the following description of the North Nazimabad Town by Owais Mughal in All Things Pakistan is worthy of being reproduced in full. Enjoy!

In April 2008, we had a post on Eight Bazaars of Faisalabad, and we presented it as one of the best examples of town planning in Pakistan. We would like to develop this topic into a whole new series about the best planned localities of Pakistan. Among many examples of fine town planning in Pakistan are North Nazimabad Karachi, Model Town Lahore, Faisalabad’s 8 bazaars, Federal-B-Area Karachi, Islamabad Master Plan, Wah Cantonment, and many more in other cities. In today’s post we will cover North Nazimabad, Karachi.

The satellite image below shows North Nazimabad’s 20 residential blocks bound in red polygon. East of NN is Federal-B-Area where as North of NN is North Karachi and Buffer Zone.

Whenever the aesthetics of Civil Engineering and Town Planning Projects is considered; it is an accpetable fact that curves and gradiants are considered more natural than squares or rectangles. Cities planned in rectangular grids, though easy to navigate, don’t have same aesthtics as brought out by circular roads and curves. If you look at North Nazimabad’s map above you can clearly see how aesthetically the curved roads and plots have been designed within mostly rectanguar grids. Atleast to me this is the town planning of highest aesthetic order.

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Accident on Punjab Chowrangi

Three people killed in a traffic accident that took place a few moments ago at the Punjab Chowrangi in Karachi. Ambulances have been making their way over for the past few minutes. If anyone has updates, please post them here.

Is this normal?

kids-in-the-gutter.jpgThe stuff that’s roaming around in sewerage pipes cannot possibly be fun stuff. This isn’t the first time I have seen this – In fact, if you notice the sludge that these “cleaners” threw out to the left side of the photograph, that’s actually a construction site that has a pipe running into the sewerage pipe that’s been dumping the waste into the pipes.. The construction site has not only managed to cause this filth to be thrown out into the street, but has blocked the entire street so they can be a bit more comfortable in their building their project. (more…)

Google Map Maker for Karachi

Google Map MakerGoogle Maps has just recently opened up its map database for Pakistan hence allowing an open community of volunteers to help make navigational maps for Pakistan. If you have some spare time please insert a few landmarks so that it can contribute to benefit the community in general.

Edit Karachi Map Here

This will naturally be a work in progress and soon we might have a very good database of Karachi, but in the mean time I thought it may be interesting to hear from the community the present status of development of the local GPS maps in continuation to our numerous posts before (2005 Maps, Google Earth Karachi, 2006 Karachi Maps?, 2007 Map it with Naqsha & in 2008 ApnaKarachi).

My own fascination with GPS maps stems from my recent activities with the OffRoadPakistan group which often heads off into the uncharted wilderness of Baluchistan and Sindh almost 5-6 times a year literally breaking away from the hectic Karachi life for a few days of hardcore adventure. Despite having some expert navigators within the group, I pitched in to buy Garmin Nuvi 660 (it was more to satisfy my gadget-fanaticism, I have since then, uploaded it with the Mapsource WorldMap data but found it to be practically useless for street navigation in Pakistan. I’m just sharing a few pictures from our Goran Gatti trip in Jan 2008


In search of a better map I also came across the brilliant effort on Naqsha.net, Islamabad is decently well mapped but the Naqsha maps of Karachi leaves a lot to be desired for. Extending my hunt I also stumbled across a retailer who claimed to have Garmin maps for Karachi (!!) willing to sell it to me for Rs.6500. So the big question here…. Is there any decent maps on Karachi & Pakistan which can be used or do we have to wait up until progress is made on the Google Maps?

Credits: Adnan Siddiqi & Noman

Only in Karachi

Only in Karachi
Only a pure Karachi motorcyclist can pull this stunt off
Two degh’s balanced perfectly on a motorcycle cruising down Shahrah-e-Faisal

fire on chundrigar road

a while ago, fire broke out on the first floor of Business and Finance Center on chundrigar road, opposite State Bank.

the building has been evacuated and and edhi ambulance is on standby. no fire trucks have reached the scene yet.

i work in the building behind the affected one, and many of our departments reside in the said. the fire seems to have erupted due to a generator failure.

more as it comes……

update:

(just got our network back)
the fire seems to be under control now. on the last count, there were 7 ambulances and 3 fire engines, one of which was used in controlling the fire.

chundrigar road is closed for traffic and the building has not yet opened for staff / parking.

some pics from my phone camera:

image169.jpgimage160.jpgimage167.jpgimage165.jpg

Moving back to Karachi

Mohammed Hanif, by now known to many as the author of A Case of Exploding Mangoes, writes in the Guardian about the reasons for his impending move back to Karachi from London after 12 years away.

When novelist Mohammed Hanif told friends he was returning to Pakistan after 12 years in Britain, they were aghast. Why would he and his young family swap London for a city with daily power cuts and rampant gun crime? The answer proved surprisingly simple … (Guardian.)

Airblue – Blues

AirBlue

Yesterday this image caught my attention when rounding the Hotel Metropole. It seems that quite a few travel agents are very serious about sending a strong statement to AirBlue over their tussle regarding the way AirBlue ticket pricing

The News, 24th June 2008: Travel Agents Association of Pakistan (TAAP) on Monday vowed to maintain the embargo on the sale of Airblue tickets fearing that any relaxation will encourage other carriers to reduce their commissions as well. In a general body meeting held here, members of the association said the private airline since June 3, 2008, increased fuel surcharge but decreased travelling fare, which is used to calculate fixed margin of agents who in reprisal stopped selling its tickets. “An airline calculates its fare structure on basis of total expenditure including fuel surcharge and travel agents earn commission on that fare value,” said Tahir Sheikh, Regional Chairman TAAP. “And on this commission we pay withholding tax to government.” He said change in mechanism to calculate commission has not only reduced profitability of travel agents but decision will cost government taxes. TAAP claimed that its members paid Rs240 million to government in taxes on sale of Air Blue tickets.

A day of horror at Plaza

This story that i received in numerous emails came in THE NEWS two weeks back & its a must read for you. I share it here with our readers. [Credits: Mustafa Jamal]

At 5.15 p.m. June 4, I stopped at Plaza, in front of the Polani Motors on Karachi’s busiest thoroughfare, the M.A. Jinnah Road, to have my car’s electric window repaired. Soon, I was mobbed by some seven to eight people, who insisted that I get some door rubbers installed. I refused but they started the work nevertheless.

Quickly, I found myself trapped, with these people doing all sorts of work on the car, not listening to my command, directions and pleadings. These people had me so placed that I could not run, scream or phone anybody, even though I was on the busiest road of Karachi. By all means, I was held hostage by them.

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Renovation of Mazar-e-Quaid

mazar

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