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.

To further make my point on the elegance of diagonals and curved roads as compared to boring rectangular blocks, I want to present the maps of Blocks C, D and E of North Nazimabad, shown in the photo to the left. Somewhere in the course of basic town planning and Architecture, it is said that

‘Nature never uses straight line in its designs, therefore curves always appear more natural’

Note the little green oval to the bottom left of the map. This is Asghar Ali Shah Cricket Ground in Block C

Brief History of North Nazimabad

The photo to the right shows North Nazimabad’s location in a larger settled area view of Karachi city.

Uptil late 1950s, Karachi’s northern most settlement used to be Nazimabad. Being the Capital of Pakistan, and as the population of the city grew, need arose to house federal employees in better planned neighborhoods. Localities of Federal-B-Area and North Nazimabad were thus planned to house Federal employees. As far as aesthetics, ameneties, and grandeur was concerned, no other locality in Pakistan could match the town planning of North Nazimabad. In 1962, the Capital was shifted from Karachi to Islamabad and the planned neighborhood of North Nazimabad became available to general public instead of originally planned employees of Federal Government onlyThe Matrix:

North Nazimabad consists of 20 residential blocks identified with alphabets from A to T. The plot sizes across all North Nazimabad are divided into 6 categories viz. A, B, C, D, E and F. Plots of A category have an area of 240 square yards, B = 400 Square Yards, C=600 square yards, D=1000 square yards and F=2000 square yards . Therefore a sample house address in North Nazimabad of A36/T means House number 36 with an area of 240 square yards located in Block T.

The photo to the left is satellite image of Block A of North Nazimabad.

North Nazimabad is also famous for its main mass transit arterial called the ‘Sher Shah Suri Road’ being a 440 ft wide thoroughfare. There are several 220 ft wide boulevards with rain drains dividing the two lanes.

The Eucalyptus Town:

In the period 1983-87, during the mayorship of (late)Abdus Sattar Afghani, whole North Nazimabad locality was planted with hundreds and thousands of Eucalyptus saplings. As fast as Eucalyptus grows, within few years whole Nazimabad town turned into a green paradise of tall Eucalyptus trees.

However, lately these eucalyptus trees have been mostly cut down for reason better known to the subsquent city governments. One reason that I have heard is that Eucalyptus is a water thirsty tree and so many of the eucalptuses in North Nazimabad were causing the ground water level to go down.

Also Called Taimuria

During the same era, in order to localize the neighborhood names, North Nazimabad was renamed as ‘Taimuria’ and Federal-B-Area was renamed as ‘Mansura’. With the demse of Government of that time, the new names also met their natural death and never caught a mass acceptation. Today the only remnants of the name Taimuria in North Nazimabad are the ‘Taimuria Police Station’ and a ‘Taimuria library’.


The photo to the right is Block B of North Nazimabad .

North Nazimabad of today has lost much of its past glory. Just like many localities of big cities, businesses from city center slowly creep into residential areas and people of these area start moving further outward to suburbs. Same has happened to North Nazimabad. The once peaceful residential locality of Karachi is now fast turning into a commercial market.

On my last visit to Karachi, I was surprized to see almost 80% ‘F’ size plots of block F were converted into some private school or private University. The once small eating shops in block H and block A had collectively turned into full fledge food streets. barkaat-e-Hyderi market is now one of the largest shopping centers of the city. All multinational fast food chains have opened their branches in

The photo below shows Block F of North Nazimabad. Many of the plots in Block F were of area 2000 sq feet. They have mostly been converted to something commercial e.g. Private Schools and Universities.


North Nazimabad of today boasts of atleast four First-Class Cricket Grounds, several hospitals, A Medical and Dental University, Several HSC Colleges, Taimuria library, several parks and sustained commercial activity which makes it a complete city inside the city.

In 2001, North Nazimabad was declared as one of the 18 towns of Karachi. were added to North Nazimabbad proper.

Mass Transit Plans for North Nazimabad

North Nazimabad is included in the Karachi Mass Transit Plan (KMTP) of 1970s. The Orangi-Cantt Station mass transit corridor touches Block A and B of North Nazimabad.

North Nazimabad also has a Railway Station on Karachi Circular Railway Route. So whenever the KCR is fully revived on its loop, North Nazimabad will benefit.


According to 1998 Census the population of 20 blocks of North Nazimabad town was approximately 250000 where as population of North Nazimabad town which also included the localities of Buffer Zone I and II, Shadman, and Paposh Nagar was 496000

Trivia About North Nazimabad:

1. The Four First-Class Cricket grounds of North Nazimabad: Bakhtiari Youth Center A Ground (Block S), KDA Stadium (Block S), Syed Asghar Ali Shah Stadium (Block C), which also held a 3-day International between Pakistan and Zimbabwe and KCCA Stadium (Block N).

2. In 1960, North Nazimabad was connected by Karachi Circular Railway Service with its Railway Station in Block B called ‘North Nazimabad’. The station remained operation until 1999. KCR service got suspended in 1999.

3. Postal Code of North Nazimabad is 74700.

1. North Nazimabad in Transition by Sabeen Jamil
2. North Nazimabad Town Government
3. City District Government of Karachi (CDGK)
4. Google Earth for all the Satellite Maps

Ready For Your Geography Quiz?

So in the satellite image below, can you try to find out where is North Nazimabad located? Answer is given above in the first map of this post.

North Nazimabad also boasts of being the most religiously diversified area of Karachi.  Block C has a Bohra Jamat Khana, and an Ismaili Jamat Khana. The two communities live peacefully with the Sunnis and any communal tension has been unheard of. The town also has the highest literacy rate and the lowest crime rate in the city.

28 Comments so far

  1. Shamsi (shamsi) on June 30th, 2008 @ 12:37 pm

    The most important thing you forgot to mention…

    It is KDA Scheme no. 2 of Karachi.

    Planned & Developed under supervision of Italian Town Planners.

  2. balma on June 30th, 2008 @ 8:59 pm

    You never miss an opportunity to tell us how old you are.

  3. Shamsi (shamsi) on June 30th, 2008 @ 11:14 pm


    the way you act, you must be much younger then the junior most of mine.

    Happy :)

  4. Faisal.K (faisalk) on July 1st, 2008 @ 12:39 am

    excellent post!!! just a drive to N.Nazimabad and its wide roads and stadiums plus hospital facilities show us how well planned it is.

  5. owaism1971 on July 1st, 2008 @ 6:36 am

    Shamsi Saheb
    Thanks for the info. on KDA scheme #2. Do you have more info about the Italian planners?

  6. fahmed on July 1st, 2008 @ 2:19 pm

    always loved that area and nazimabad and it’s nice roads.

    i always told people that some emandar contractor must have built the roads as i hardly found any holes in it when i used to visit my cousins in nazimabad back in the 80’s and 90’s. don’t know what the situation is now a days

  7. Shamsi (shamsi) on July 1st, 2008 @ 3:06 pm

    The documents in my possession says – It was planned and designed in late 50s by Carlo Scarpa & Aldo Rossi the Italian planners & architects.

    Source – KDA original allotments letter with defination of mandatory open space, drawing of water & sewerage line locations, an affidavite to be signed by allotte abiding the laws for house construction, all written down by Carlo Scarpa & Aldo Rossi., all drawings & plans bear their stamps.

    I believe that it was done because Karachi was capital at that time, and new locations were needed to develop the diplomatic enclaves.

    Despite all the frowns about Across the bridge world, there is plenty of fresh drinking water in lines, and open spaces in North Nazimabad then anywhere else in Karachi. Also I think there is less of load-shedding because 2 grid stations cover the locality.

    I wish……………….! :)

  8. Ali (retroguy02) on July 1st, 2008 @ 8:55 pm

    Yay, my hometown! I’m from Block J :) Hmm… it sure looks way better from satellite than it does up-close, although still by no means one of the messiest towns in Karachi. But man, this place does need more trees! There are many other species of plants other than eucalyptus that are well-suited to the arid Sindhi climate.

  9. Adnan Siddiqi (adnansiddiqi) on July 1st, 2008 @ 9:54 pm

    shamsi apart from difference in views about religion and politics, I do admire your knowledge about certain things. Speaking of KDA scheme, does it mean that whatever development has been taken place in Karachi comes under KDA?

  10. owaism1971 on July 2nd, 2008 @ 9:42 am

    KDA used to acquire land and develop it for infrastructure. Once done, it was shifted to KMC to maintain and collect tax. KMC as you may know is now replaced by KCDG.

    KDA Scheme # 1 is opposite Aga Khan hospital. It extends from opposite National Stadium to all the way up to Karsaz. It includes Bangalore town etc. A fine piece of townplanning it is.

    KDA Scheme # 2 is North Nazimabad- as I came to know thru Shamsi Saheb’s message above.

    I believe the last major project of KDA was KDA Scheme # 36 which is now called Gulistan-e-Jauhar.


  11. Shamsi (shamsi) on July 2nd, 2008 @ 1:17 pm

    @Adnan, am a human like you, and for sure less on IQ level, because my religious & political views are of STONE age,

    however when i was growing up and attending school, we were asked to read newspapers and pay attention to smallest of details,. Once a week every class ( we had 4 sections of every class in our school with 45 ~ 55 students per section ) have competition of quiz from the week’s newspapers then interclass tournament every month.

    MY knowledge about the common little petty stuff of Karachi is of that brought up., am not extra ordinary human.

    Can ANYONE from this blog tell me, what was the old name of Shahrae Liaquat. :) AND ~ OR when was it changed.

    Hint – S. M Science college is on that Street since before partition.

  12. Shamsi (shamsi) on July 2nd, 2008 @ 1:41 pm

    To add more.

    NED Stands for – NadirShaw Eduljee Dinshaw
    DJ stands for – Deya Ram Jaythmal

    Again :) Can anyone locate & point on Google Map – or give me lat long for

    Kumhar wara in Karachi. :)

  13. bluemax on July 2nd, 2008 @ 6:25 pm

    "old name of Shahrae Liaquat" = Frere Road. Correct? I have no idea when it was changed (1951 may be)

  14. bluemax on July 2nd, 2008 @ 6:48 pm

    Kumhar wara in Karachi, somewhere close to lat:24.8804995 and long:67.001431. Again, its my calculated guess.

  15. Shamsi (shamsi) on July 2nd, 2008 @ 10:04 pm

    Correct :) for Frere Road, –

    Correct coordinates, for Kumharwara, bakra pirhi, chakiwara, it is all now under Liyari Town

    [you were bit off though]

    correct is : 24.52 44.62 N – 66.59 37.23E

    have u been to Ismail Hadi (bone) hospital beacause thats why Kumharwara WAS famous before 1980s’. His 3rd generation is still running his hospital with great success, 2 of his grand sons are Doctors from DOW and practicing Physio Therapy and Fixing joints, curing sprianed muscles,

    and with all the sanity with me I take sprained muscles, hairline fractures to that place till date. – I don trust Shah the Butcher :D

  16. d0ct0r on July 3rd, 2008 @ 2:07 am

    Sher Shah Suri road is not 440 feet,its 320 feet wide(i think its the widest road in karachi) , Shara-e-noorjahan on which Interboard’s office is located is 140 feet wide, Allamma Rasheed Turabi Road on which Ziauddin Hospital and Karachi Medical and Dental College(KMDC) is located is also 140 feet wide, all 3 roads run parallel to each other across the whole strech of North Nazimabad and beyond..

  17. owaism1971 on July 3rd, 2008 @ 4:55 am

    Dear Doctor
    You and I are both correct on width of the road. The numbers you have given are the width of the main pavement lanes but the end-to-end distance on Sher Shah Suri road including the two service lanes is 440 ft. Also I stand by my claim that other boulevards are 220′ wide from end to end. Their pavement may be 140′.

    You are right that Sher Shah Suri road is the widest in Karachi.

  18. d0ct0r on July 3rd, 2008 @ 4:22 pm

    i am sorry but you are wrong.. the center island is 80 feet wide , the main road is 50 feet wide each side , the service road island is feet 30 feet wide each side, the service road is 30 feet each side, the green area outside the boundry wall of house on main road is 10 feet wide on each side , add it all up and you get 320 feet, wall to wall from boundary wall of main road house in block A to boundary wall of main road house in block B.

    same is the case with other roads i mentioned.

  19. bluemax on July 3rd, 2008 @ 8:00 pm

    "have u been to Ismail Hadi (bone) hospital " … I didnt even know this name :)

    All I knew about Kumharwara was that it is close to Liyari naddi (now a naala) and Lea market area so made a guess.

  20. owaism1971 on July 4th, 2008 @ 5:17 am

    Well Doctor Sahab, in view of your break-up of road width, i take back my claim. I guess the road widths are 330′ and 140′. I will still be looking for second source to authenticate. How do you know such exact widths?

    How about the road north of Nagan Chowrangi which is connection to Sher Shah Suri rd. say from Nagan Chowrangi to Salim center. Is it 440′ wide? I am very sure we all have heard of TV ads selling apt buildings on this road claiming it to be 440′. that is where my information had come from.


  21. owaism1971 on July 4th, 2008 @ 5:23 am

    In this news Nazim Karachi claims 5000-Road connecting Nagan chowrangi to Surjani town being the widest in Karachi. No number is given. Can i assume this is the one which is 440′ wide

  22. d0ct0r on July 5th, 2008 @ 12:28 am

    in that news link you have posted there is no mention of Surjani town.. they are talking about road from Nagan Chowrangi to Sakhi Hasan which also is Sher Shah Suri Road.. rest assured the measurements i mentioned are correct because they were physically measured(not by me though)

  23. owaism1971 on July 5th, 2008 @ 8:14 am

    5000 road officially starts from Sakhi Hassan and ends at Surjani Town chowk.

  24. owaism1971 on July 5th, 2008 @ 9:20 am

    I know the width of road from Sakhi Hassan to Nagan Chowrangi is same as in other sections of Sher Shah Suri road but I am not sure about the section from Nagan Chowrangi to further north. That portion may be 440′ wide. Can somebody confirm

  25. d0ct0r on July 5th, 2008 @ 12:04 pm

    "Rehabiliation of Chaudhry Fazl-e-Elahi Road (5000 Road) from Sakhi Hassan to Nagan Chowrangi"


    maybe they’ve named the strech of road from Sakhi Hassan to Nagan Chowrangi as road 5000 for internal use,massive water pipelines were laid and that road was constructed and carpeted..

    that north bound road from Nagan Chowrangi is not more then 280 feet wide end to end

  26. d0ct0r on July 5th, 2008 @ 12:56 pm

    as for Nazim Karachi and his gang of goons they are messing up North Nazimabad bit by bit, they sold off road island to fast food chain just opposite metric board office in Block A North Nazimabad,across the road in block B they’ve encroached and illegally occupied railway/bridge land on which construction of high rise(14 story) luxury apartment complex is underway in full swing as we speak,in block D and J they have encroached and occupied large public playgrounds and are busy constructing 80 yards houses,their modus operandi is quite simple,first they establish a small illegal 1 room unit office on the land they plan to occupy if any one raises an eyebrow or points finger is threatened and silenced and once the matter is hushed up they occupy the plot completely.. all of mqm’s unit offices are on illegally occupied encroached land. you have mentioned Asghar Ali Shah Stadium, Dr Mohammed Ali Shah have recently extended the exterior boundary walls of the stadium and illegally encroached and occupied the footpaths surrounding the stadium,

    (*block J’s residents filed a case against Citygovt/mqm for illegally occupying and selling off their public playground but they were threatened with serious consequences if they continue to persue the case and the matter is hushed up and the case is in limbo)

  27. d0ct0r on July 6th, 2008 @ 12:48 am

    this picture printed in Dawn newspaper clearly shows illegal construction underway on a public playground in Block D North Nazimabad on which Naimatullah khan’s city govt planned to construct a water park, but the current nazim Mustafa Kamal and mqm’s gangsters encroached and occupied the plot and erected boundary wall around the play ground and have started building houses..

    source: Dawn metropolitan pg 19 Dated 6 june 2008

  28. phuddu on July 14th, 2008 @ 2:05 am

    if north nazimabad is the best planned aesthetically then why is DHA the most sought after place to live and considered the most posh area ?

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