Archive for May, 2009

Utility bill for Municipal Services

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I was surprised to see amount of the bill for this month yesterday. The amount was RS. 953. I thought we probably had already paid the previous month bill as we never skip so how could this much amount as it was around 450/month in our case. When I inquired dad he told me that we did try to pay the bill previous month but the bank officials refused to collect it. Interestingly instead of simply adding the two bills they had also included the FINE (40 odd rupees) for late payment for previous bill though it’s not our fault at all.
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Traffic Accident video by CDGK

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7QvKrtryHo[/youtube]

US consulate construction – Just another Scam

cartoon1Here the wrong doings always unearthed once they are gone. As Musharraf and “his ENLIGHTENED team” slowly disappear into history we shall come to know their kaarnamaz time to time. It’s very important to know past facts if one wants to move forward, one reason why posting events from past is necessary. But no need to panic and like my friend says hum awam bhi dheet hain so just one more story in our bucket:
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Friday was told about the first order issued by Shaukat Aziz, soon after taking oath as the prime minister of Pakistan in 2005. It was to give 28 acres of KPT land, worth billions of rupees, to the US for construction of its consulate in Karachi for only Rs 1.1 billion on a 99-year lease.

On the personal instructions of Shaukat Aziz, the Americans were given the land at the laughable rate of Rs 15,000 per square yard against the market rate of Rs 222,000, causing a loss of billions to the country

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Karachi Erupts To A Sudden Violence.

Karachi at times shows very unpredictable trended, may it be weather or the city’s law and order situation It can take a sudden change to a better or worst. And certainly it takes no time for the city to snap back to it’s normal flow.

The citizens of Karachi were caught by surprise late last night a similar unpredictable round of riots erupted across the city and the news tickers on different tv channels started reporting vehicles being torched, incidents of firing and a number of fatalities across the city.

The unrest and violence continued even after the morning today with several reports of similar incidents across the city but the  police and Rangers were quickly moved in and put on high alert to keep the city under control. The dawn newspaper covered the these incidents in a news report Here, while some unconfirmed reports of markets being forced to shut down including the DHA’s Badar Commercial Area, early after noon today, Circulate the city. But the situation now seems calm and under control, lets hope it remains this way.

Helping the IDP’s…

The misery of the IDP’s caused by the Taleban in Swat is all in our hearts and we want to help. But how do we make sure that proper aid actually reaches them? A lot of donation booths seem to have popped up all of a sudden across the city – under bridges and flyovers, on traffic intersections and sidewalks, etc. People have set up tents where they are noisily blaring songs and slogans (however unpleasant) and collecting goods to send to the people in Swat. Political parties have started mobilizing their workers. Lots of individuals have also come forward with their own action plans for help. All of this is very commendable.

However, there are also others who are profiting from this opportunity to gain free funds. As was highlighted in the news a few days ago, reports are rife that people collected donations for the cause of the IDP’s and kept a major portion for themselves. Then there is the odd person who pops up by your car on a signal, with a box for donations. I am forever doubtful if that donation is actually going for the IDP’s or for the Taleban under-cover, or in the pocket of some corrupt int-wfpprofiteer. Oh yes! you should keep this in mind! Since there was no initial screening of the people coming down from the Swat area, many of the Taleban also slipped out with them. And they are known to take on such disguises to escape from the military so they can survive to cause trouble later. And Karachi is one place where they know they can come to collect money! 

So keeping all this in mind, how should you screen your donation to make sure it actually reaches the ones in need?

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Local Cyber Advertisement Scene

cyber-adAs the world moves on in technology, advertisement initiatives also change. Internet provided one such opportunity for companies to grow their market. In Pakistan, these days there is increasing competition among companies, especially TELECOM. From MSN to YAHOO MAIL and many others, companies are investing more into Cyber war apart form the prevalent TV/newspaper. My prediction is, internet enabled mobile devices would be in pipeline these days with cross-service advertisement i.e common service layer for mobile communication where you can receive ads from XYZ company even if you are on an ABC network. Tech guys might guide on this especially how EFFECTIVE this marketing is. Is it worth the investment. How many of us seriously note these ads, promotions and how our decisions are based upon what we see over internet. Also are we ready or its just too early?

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Review: Rangoli

Rangoli is a themed buffet restaurant inside the ARENA club at Karsaz. If we talk about its ambiance, non-smoking zone is little informal in its setting whereas smoking zone is little formal, though you can’t make out that difference easily. Overall except their food bazaar idea and some details on walls, tables and costumes, nothing else fits into the idea of THEMED restaurant. I don’t understand the use of usual sofas and serving setup. Service is extra-ordinary and staff is really co-operative. Not overly friendly and gives you enough space.

Food quality and variety is excellent. Every taste would be catered. There is desi stuff like daal makhni, bhagaray baingan, nihari, haleem, paye, qeema, biryani, various kababs and the attraction is Food Bazaar where they have live cooking of sajji, shawarma, katakat, ouzi. Go for Paratha rather than Nan or Mini Pizza. For the people with continental tastes, there is fish, prawn tempuras, pasta, beef fajita, cherry chicken fried rice, salads. Best part is desserts, they have everything from cakes, mouse, custards, jello to puddings, kheer and heavenly gola ganda. You will get a pan while leaving, wouldn’t recommend it though. On the whole, everything tasted pretty yumm.

All this comes in Rs. 699 (inclusive of tax) and you also get one free game of your choice with every dinner. Would not recommend lunch there as variety won’t be the same. Doesn’t have any idea about their brunch option. Free game coupons can only be used on weekdays. Certainly, value for money.

More info at: www.arena.net.pk

Rating: ****

Only Rich Ladies :)

Got this DAWN ad. by email

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Pitching in for IDPs – VCCCP

Vintage & Classic Car Club of Pakistan (VCCCP) in collaboration with DHA Golf Club is organizing a charity dinner and classic car show for the IDP’s in Swat at the DHA Golf Club on Sunday 24th May ’09. 30 cars are going to be displayed. VCCCP will make their humble contribution to this cause. Do attend to show your support and donate generously.

The Conocarpus

Hello to everyone in the Metblogs world. 

I have just joined the Metblogging team for Karachi, so would like to present a short introduction before I go on with my post. I was born in Karachi,  left it when I was 18 to go abroad, lived little more than half a decade abroad, and am now proudly calling myself a Karachiite again. I am an engineer by profession, however I have an avid interest in the city. Especially in its architecture. You can see a website I made at www.historickarachi.com which showcases the heritage of our city. Since this is my first post on metblogs, I would like to start on a somewhat lighthearted note. Lets talk about the Conocarpus. 

More specifically, the Conocarpus Erectus — a tree that has taken over Karachi like a storm! A tree? well yes. Karachi’s climate is rather hot and dry. It does not rain here much and there is not a lot of vegetation that can survive here easily without much help and still look fresh and green. Not the Conocarpus! This is one tree that has made its presence felt in the city over the last two years. You can see it everywhere now… especially greening the areas around Shahrah-e-Faisal and Karsaz. But also in many different areas. Bin Qasim Park, Beach Park, Khayaban-e-Hafiz in DHA, University Road near Askari Park, etc. etc. Not sure how it got here, but most probably the CDGK had some part to play in introducing this species to Karachi. And some of us can be pretty resistant to such new stuff… I heard a rumor going around recently that this tree causes diseases :-O  Nope. Nothing can be further from the truth. Maybe we should spend a minute and understand it more…

Conocarpus on the Karachi waterfront

Conocarpus on the Karachi waterfront

Conocarpus Erectus is not really a tree, but a rather large woody shrub growing up to 40 feet tall. It originates in North America from the edges of swamplands in Florida, which is why it has often times been confused to be a mangrove. It is not a mangrove though, but is a very hardy plant that can survive the hot weather, bad air, bad soils and frequent droughts associated with urban environments very well. Its leaves are very thick and leathery which help it retain its health in the heat, and the plant also grows very well in saline soils. In fact, its salt tolerance is so good that it has been used for the reclaimation of salinity damaged lands. All these qualities make it an ideal plant for Karachi.

Conocarpus has also been used in other regions of the world. This tree-like shrub can be trimmed in a lot of ways and is often used for road-side medians, parking lots, screening hedges, and other landscaping purposes. Kuwait is one country that has made extensive use of the Conocarpus for its landscaping. Another is Hawaii, where it is so prevalent now that it has become naturalized. 

In Karachi you can find the Conocarpus in a lot of areas. Particularly in DHA, the soil is naturally very saline (since most of it is reclaimed land) and Conocarpus thrives in DHA much better than any other trees. It has been used to particularly good effect on Khayaban-e-Hafiz where a lot of people have used it to screen their houses from the road. It has also been put to good use on roadside medians on Shahrah-e-Faisal and in the Karsaz area. On the water-front road now, the CDGK has planted lots of saplings where it should be able to grow very well. In fact, it may be a very good idea to plant it all over our beachside. That would make it look very attractive. 

Conocarpus grove in front of Dolmen City

Conocarpus grove in front of Dolmen City

If you are a greenery fan, I would suggest that you should introduce yourself and your neighbourhood to the Conocarpus. Make sure that you keep individual trees at least 5 feet apart so that they do not smother each other. Some watering may be helpful in order to help the plant take hold, but otherwise, it should do pretty well on its own. Here’s to a greener Karachi!

 

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