Walking Culture in Karachi

According to report on page 4 of The News (which cannot be found in the internet edition) today, the city’s high street (II Chundrigar Road) will be closed for for public transport from February 15.

The road is undergoing a massive renovation programme and is funded by the several financial institutions including the State Bank. A budget of Rs. 750 million has been said to have been allocated (this information is not confirmed).

10 UTS shuttle busses will carry padestrains from either end of the road to their destinations, while private cars will be allowed entry during this time.

The closure will promote the development of a walking culture which is badly needed.

I personally believe that the road should be closed for traffic altogether and be lined with trees and gardens etc. An electric train service (or trams) should operate on side of the road for commuters. All cars should be parked in 2 mega parking complexes built on each end of the road.

21 Comments so far

  1. Kashif Aziz (unregistered) on February 14th, 2006 @ 10:50 am

    Wow, day dreaming ain’t you?

    This is going to be another miserably failed project. The government puts a deaf ear to misery it cause to public. IIC road is in shambles since last couple of months and they are just making sky high claims. They should have prepared the alternate routes first before going for this stupid restriction.

  2. Poo poo Head (unregistered) on February 14th, 2006 @ 11:06 am

    Bechara gareeb admi mara jaye ga. Now Govt is running thir own buses at IIC and they would charge 5 Rs for 2-3 km distance. I could see people walking
    instead of giving 5 Rs :-( and all the cars owner could go. Shame Shame , The buses should not charge any thing I believe . this means 5 Rs * 2 times per day * 6 days per week * 4.5 weeks per month = 270 Rs per month extra burden for a normal man. Oh what I am talking about , most people here could easily give Rs 3500 for 2 hours concert.

  3. Erum (unregistered) on February 14th, 2006 @ 11:53 am

    Let’s not be so sarcastic, it is people’s choice if they choose to go to a bryan adams concert as they can afford it. Coming back to the topic, it’ll take some time for karachiites to adapt to a walking culture but someone has to start it. Trams should be there, but frankly, i don’t see them coming in the near future. IIC road is in such a bad shape as far as traffic and parking is concerned. On my last visit back home, i went to a bank there (my mistake) and had a terrible experience. There was no parking available anywhere and my driver was going round and round till i got free. And oh how can i forget the 15 mins wait outside the bank, with every single man on the road looking at me as if they’d never seen a girl before (bearded men included, and my visit was during ramzan). And for those who might be wondering, let me mention here, I was fully covered from head to toe. Its hard to explain how disgusted i felt. Feeling insecure in your own country is a shame indeed!
    Moral of the story, even if we have a walking culture in karachi, I dont think i’ll be comfortable walking on the roads on my own and I’m sure alot of females out there would agree. Wonder how we can solve this problem. Nevertheless, I still love my city!

  4. Darthvader (unregistered) on February 14th, 2006 @ 2:21 pm

    blah blah blah blah …blah blah blah .yes ..thats all we get ..bitching and complaining.
    the road renovation/reconstruction can only be a good thing .and if it does end up with a few folks taking up walking ; even better . lets just see what happens when all is said and done.let them finish first.
    Also , there is no parking available NEVER EVER in any big city downtown all over the world(except for paid parking garages, if one happens to be nearby) .if you do find a spot, even a metered spot , it’s by total chance .so this whole tirade about driver going in circles is actually a moot point because that’s life in a big city .
    i totally agree with the authors suggestion of closing the road to traffic all together , although it just might be pretty heavy duty wishful thinking at this stage , but who knows.

  5. Afreen (unregistered) on February 14th, 2006 @ 3:51 pm

    If what you’re saying turns out to be true, I’m gonna jig around in happiness for a while. But, do you really think this gonna happen? *raises eyebrow in curiosity*

  6. Poo Poo Head (unregistered) on February 14th, 2006 @ 11:08 pm

    I can afford doctor, you can not. Who cares ??
    I can afford sending my children to school, you can’t, Who cares ? I can have all fun and you can’t who cares ?? This is a capitalist society. Right ???

    Yah Walking is a good thing, I myslef put 8 miles every day in running/walking but it should be a choice. But if you impose that either pay 270 Rs or walk then it is BS. Why not you shut down IIC for all cars , why imposing walk for only those who do not have cars. (Any how I don’t know why the blogger got the idea that shutting buses on IIC was to promote walking). DarthVader has valid point for parking, if we start charging parking fees per down town criteria then people would scream. When I was in Chicago, people never brought their cars in down town and preferred to walk even for 15 minutes in cold weather from bus/train stations(So cold that Karachites could not even imagine). How many times I have done myself driving around in downtown so that I do not have to pay parking fees.

    I do not know why people just try to bring Islam/Muslims/Sunnah down in every possible way. Were you in “naqab”, I guess No then why are you complaining of people staring you. Its free society based on capital values and people would do what ever they enjoy, if you have any problem then do not leave house or take veil. Why did you mention bearded man ??? Some times I am so busy that I grow hair on my face but my life style does not chnage. so many people in Pakistan have beards due to social reasons(especially Pathans)and not due to religion. I could recall one of my friend whose family is one of 22 rich families of Pakistan, he could not go to his “area” w/o moustache and when ever he had to go to his area, he had to grow moustache. Allah never mulitply your sins, if bearded man and non bearded man is staring female, they would get equal sin but bearded man is earning few virtues due to his beard too.

    As long as you are not getting physical torture , you have to bear all this man looking at you. (No, I am not advocating that this is a good thing) but you could not compalin against this, if you have a problem then sit at home or take “burqa” . Don’t come out and start crying. I hate this “feminism”, these women first spoiled Mars and now they want to exploit earth. Take it or leave it.

    Let’s not be sarcastic, I can afford looking at gals and its my choice, you go to hell. So simple.

    P.S. I was one of those guy in my school/college whom no gal wished to talk ever because they knew that I would never their BS. I respect women but just equal as men.

  7. sarah (unregistered) on February 15th, 2006 @ 12:27 am

    what are we talking about here i am CONFUSED !!!

  8. Poo Poo Head (unregistered) on February 15th, 2006 @ 12:53 am

    Roses are red,
    Violets are blue,
    At least so I’m told,
    I’ve been blind since birth

  9. striker (unregistered) on February 15th, 2006 @ 5:04 am

    hey look
    some one has already started bitching………
    sickkkkkkkkkk fag again…………………..

  10. Poo Poo Head (unregistered) on February 15th, 2006 @ 5:28 am

    Sorry friends, I just received a phone call from a recruiter with a good offer from some good company and I am switching my job in next 5-7 days. This would be my fourth jump in last 16 months. Just can not deny any one :-(. When ever I join new job, I work hard for first two months and then go by my reputation. You would see now very very few posts from me for next 2 months. Would try to post in evenings but just do not want to spend evenings in front of computer.

    It was nice to know so many different people with different perspectives. I did not want to hurt any one. I just wanted people to think from different perspectives regardless of good or bad.

    Happy blogging.


  11. Kashif Aziz (unregistered) on February 15th, 2006 @ 10:39 am

    Govt. has delayed the decision till feb 20th.

  12. observer (unregistered) on February 15th, 2006 @ 10:51 pm

    @ Poo Poo Head: Where do you live currently? I enjoy reading your comments — are you based in Karachi or in the US or where…?

  13. Poo Poo Head (unregistered) on February 15th, 2006 @ 11:45 pm

    FAQ About Me

    Q1) Who am I?
    I am the law.

    Q2) where I Came from?
    And God said: Let there be light: and there was light.

    Q3) My present state?
    I am in the middle of somewhere.

    Q4) where am I going?
    My path is abstract.

    Q5) what is holding me back?
    The sum of all forces acting on me.

    Q6) How do I get there?
    As long as I move.

    Q7) What resource do I need?
    “Give me a lever long enough, and a place on which to rest it, and I will move the world.” Archimedes.

    Q8) What will it be Like when I get there?
    “Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.” Niels Bohr.

  14. striker (unregistered) on February 16th, 2006 @ 6:24 am

    GO TO HELL!!!!!


  15. sarah (unregistered) on February 17th, 2006 @ 5:11 am

    Bad Attitude Alert !!!!:D

  16. Jay the big J (unregistered) on February 18th, 2006 @ 1:10 am

    Pakistani people are blind they die daily by locomotives :( .. Don’t you think the tram will also help in reducing the population.

  17. Zainub (unregistered) on February 18th, 2006 @ 2:06 pm

    Sorry to open up a dead thread, but I just went through the comments here for the first time on my Google reader, and I had a few thoughts, which I felt like adding in.

    I’ve not been to the II Chundrigar Road in a while (say six months), but I can imagine how people who have to commute to this place day in day out, must not have a very pleasant time doing so, so I hope for their sake that everything works out to perfection, for everyone, including for thoe people with cars and without cars.

    And now to touch on the point “Poo Poo” made about what women should do with regards to men staring them. You say you don’t understand why people have to “drag” Islam in everything, well, Islam is complete code of life, it is *meant* to be dragged in every part of our life, if you think otherwise, then that’s your choice (no one can obviously force you into thinking otherwise) but then this doesn’t entitle you to give those people who do involve Islam in every part of their life a ribbing. You might want to restrict Islam to a few aspects of your life, others don’t, that, as you your self would say, is their choice. Just because you don’t adhere to an idea doesn’t mean that idea it self is wrong.

    Thirdly, I’d like to *enlighten* you a bit on your perception that men don’t stare women that wear “burqas”. First of all, burqa is out an dated term, it’s now referred to as doing hijab or if you must refer to a burqa-like garment, use the word abaya, or at least that’s what I prefer. Secondly, which world do you live in? What do you think you men are, saints? They might be so on mars, on planet earth, sorry, they’re of different breed here. Men in Pakistan stare women. Full stop. It doesn’t matter if the women is 60 or 16, or if she’s fair or dark, or if she’s wearing hipsters and jeans or an abaya, they stare indiscriminately, just like most men pretty much everywhere in the world do. I wear abaya and have been wearing it ever since I was 15 (now approaching 19)and I cam across men who stare me for no good reason other then being being a female every single day of my life (and I’m not even good-looking). I get started at college, on the way to and from college, while shopping, in weddings, everywhere. I was once stared by a middle aged man on the way of coming out of a mosque after offering taravi prayers (perhaps this gentlemen was just surprised to see women come out of a mosque) but really, there is no place, no time and no occasion where men (of all ages, shapes and sizes) will not stare women. It seems to me this is down to a fundamental genes in the all the male species of the world, that us females don’t quite possess (or at least I don’t, thank God!).

    For Afreen,

    I can understand why men staring you should make you feel insecure, it can be really annoying. People have different ways of handling this. I just tend to ignore. But my sister use to do something that was much more affective, it is called the “if you stare me, I’ll stare you back twice as harder” method. This is when you give the rickshaw/bus/taxi/civic car/suzuki car driver or any other perfect stranger staring you as if this is the first time in living history he’s come across a member of the opposite sex, your biggest, scariest “If looks could kill” look, you’ll find that very often, this results, in the staring being stopped and that male looking slightly perplexed (or possibly even scared, that is you scare back really angrily). Although, I don’t recommend this if you’re not good with making all sorts of gestures by way of body language, my sister was good at this, I’m not. If you ever attempt it, good luck.

  18. Poo poo Head (unregistered) on February 18th, 2006 @ 10:09 pm

    Zainab Bibi, I agree with you that Islam gives you whole conduct of life but I said people bring Islam “down” when ever they can. We should consciously make an effort to separate Islam and Muslims. I have seen this trend that we use religion as an exploitation tool, when ever we are finished with our arguments we do bring Islam and I have no problem with that but why bring religion only when you do not have any arguments left. We could blame others for not following Islam when we are following ourself otherwise I would treat it as exploitation. Like few days ago, one of my friend was saying to his wife that women should not use perfume because whenever any guy smells that , she gets sin(this was his last argument). I have no problem with that but the same guy drinks and where now religion has gone? Simply he does not want his wife to use perfumes but he is using religion here. So bad.

    Thanks for educating me with “burqa” terminology but I guess if you are in abaya and I can not look at your face then I would not care for staring at you and most of the guys won’t care because they could look at other gals who are w/o abaya.

    I can go on this for next one hour but I am not feeling weel.I wish you all the best and appreciate your effort to elaborate women’s view.

    We both share passion for cricket, I have added your cricket blog in my book marks, and you write good. Keep it up Kid.

  19. Zainub (unregistered) on February 22nd, 2006 @ 4:36 am

    Use Poo Poo, people do use religion selectively, which is sad.

    Sorry also. I got a bit worked up in that comment, just was very pissed when I wrote that down. Now that I am in a calmer mood and I re-read that, I realise my tone wasn’t exactly very polite. But I still think neverthless that men stare all women at all times indiscriminately, it doesn’t matter if you’re doing hijab or not, they are ‘behis’ as my mom would say.

  20. Zainub (unregistered) on February 22nd, 2006 @ 4:40 am

    use in the first line should have been true, my typing sucks.

  21. Poo poo Head (unregistered) on February 22nd, 2006 @ 9:16 am

    Zainab, I had no problem with your comments , actually I felt good that some one could come up and write some thing constructive instead of saying that morning of karachi is very good or nice pics of karachi. I am also very ‘behis’ :-) and people’s sarcasm nor abuse tease me at all . I just can not understand gals , ssome times they feel good when guys give them look and some times they don’t . I guess if a guy in Civic would pass comments , they would not mind but if rickshaw wala gives them then they get piss. I , of course could be wrong but thats just me and my personal experience. If some one abuses me , I just ignore , why gals can not, why they do come up and start crying, I just hate dependent people and especially if they are gals. They should be strong and nothing more in world could please me than strong gals. Keep posting kid, it would help all of us. Come again and write what ever you think, we all would welcome you ever.

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