19 reasons why Shahra-e-Faisal shouldn’t be destroyed by an elevated expressway

http://karachi.metblogs.com/archives/images/2007/02/mb/sf1-thumb.JPGProbably another technical war is on cards, unless brushed aside by force. We hope it only remains technical so that knowledge & improvement be the final outcome rather any vested interest.

Daily Times reports today about a very interesting IAP report which listed 19 reasons & concerns about the proposed Elevated Expressway.

The Institute of Architects Pakistan (IAP) has listed 19 reasons and concerns about the proposed Elevated Expressway (EE) that the CDGK plans to build over the M.T. Khan Road / Shahrah-e-Faisal corridor, according to a press release Tuesday. On Feb 24, the CDGK is holding a briefing on the project at the AKU at 10:30 a.m., the IAP’s Amina Nasim Jan told Daily Times.

According to the press release, the architects and planners are not against development; in fact their business thrives with the development in the country but Shahrah-e-Faisal which has been there since before Partition was never designed to support an elevated expressway. Several prominent members of the architectural and engineering communities have expressed their reservations but their concerns have been brushed aside in the rush to initiate this project in the name of development and foreign investment.
Image credit : Zasami

The project proposes to construct a 24km long, 4 lane expressway which will stretch from Jinnah Bridge at Keamari to Quaidabad in Malir. Vehicles will be required to pay a toll. There will be six entry and exit points; Quaidabad, Star Gate, Karsaz, Shahrah-e-Quaideen, Hotel Metropole, and Jinnah Bridge. The EE will be high enough to clear the existing overpasses and will have toll plazas at intermediate levels at the six entry/ exit nodes. There have been very limited public hearings on this project. Read full story

31 Comments so far

  1. d0ct0r (unregistered) on February 21st, 2007 @ 12:27 pm

    its simply a tragedy that project of such magnitude will be hastily started without taking into consideration every thing… it’ll end up being more of a inconvenience if expert’s opinions fall on deaf ear and city administration gives a go ahead for this project just for publicity sake… coz elections are right around the corner so they want to get as many projects under their belt as they could. Beneficial or not , they simply don’t care…

  2. BoZz (unregistered) on February 21st, 2007 @ 1:23 pm

    Another disaster in the making. When I read this news paper article on the Internet this morning, I did not know whether to laugh or cry. This country and our society is sick. We need help and we need it now. Tomorrow is already too late.

  3. Teeth Maestro (unregistered) on February 21st, 2007 @ 1:50 pm

    I am glad it got some serious coverage but it seems Dawn and other newspapers ducked under it, as I had mentioned before these were the same arguments I was having with the Architects Association.

    I have proposed to them to let us, the ‘younger generation’ shout for our future. We can start with a movement spreading online as well as offline in hope to convincing a larger group of young Karachiites to come forward.

    Lets see what transpires…

  4. Kashif (unregistered) on February 21st, 2007 @ 2:28 pm

    @Teeth: Totally agreed. Please keep me updated on this.

  5. Ali (unregistered) on February 21st, 2007 @ 2:51 pm

    Whats the CDGK briefing for….are they inviting architects’ viewpoints over the issue?
    Waiting for further developments!!

    For Teeth Maestro ….lets start a publication and distribute it in colleges, offices, universities, NGOs, ……..spread your genuine concern to the citizens….trust me you can find numerous contributors (writers) for ur publication….something on lines of a pressure group…..Think abt it!

  6. Concerned (unregistered) on February 21st, 2007 @ 3:54 pm

    Good to see that every one has developed their own unique style of writing on this blog. I dont even have to look at the writers name, just the contents and I can tell who it is.

  7. Kazim Aizaz Alam (unregistered) on February 21st, 2007 @ 9:27 pm

    This is a serious matter. This project, apparently, is going to ruin the civic life. What all of us can do is to start sending letters to newspapers’ editors to kick off a public debate.

  8. GI Joe (unregistered) on February 22nd, 2007 @ 12:33 am

    “has been there since before Partition” ? what has that got to do with the expressway? SH Faisal is named after King Faisal of Saudi Arabia. Wasnt he a post partition guy?

    The elevated passage will not be ‘built’ upon SH Faisal as if its a new floor beig added to a building and its got nothing to do with its ‘design’. I find this argument and the others absurd.
    It seems they are opposing just for the heck of it.

  9. KhiTorPitt (unregistered) on February 22nd, 2007 @ 1:20 am

    Sorry guys its out of topic but
    Congratulations once again we are on top in the ‘Most Active Discussions’ KMB holds all top three positions ….. and from the top 20, KMB has 10 most active discussions. Once again Khi rocks.

  10. softjoint (unregistered) on February 22nd, 2007 @ 1:25 am

    There’s a category of people who sit in Karachi and oppose EVERY project, large or small. It seems that they’ve got nothing better to do; rather they seem to be motivated by political affiliation. These articles usually appear in PPP newspapers like Dawn and Daily Times. The Nawaz gang also don’t like too much development.

    The writer of the above article seems like he’s on drugs – shift Karachi’s financial district to Port Qasim – is he crazy?

    The writer forgot to mention some more problems with the expressway:

    – Birds will not be able to cross the street. If they fly too high they’ll violate CAA height restrictions.

    – Jinns flying around will lose their way because of the unfamiliar roads. The Jinn maps will have to be re-published and not all the jinns will be able to afford the new maps.

  11. naveed (unregistered) on February 22nd, 2007 @ 2:06 am

    I agree that some fucktards in the city are habitual of opposing every project that starts just because of politics or for gaining cheap publicity. The project was started about a year ago and not in haste and those who planned it are also architects and townplanners probably more competent than those at IAP.
    Furthermore the project is there to solve the traffic probles of SF and the inconvenience it causes can be tolerated for that. I wonder if these geniouses at IAP have a solution for the traffic jams which become aggravated during VVIP movement. If you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem.

  12. king_faisal (unregistered) on February 22nd, 2007 @ 2:16 am

    kind of ironic that northern and southern bypass are being offered as a solution. the usual gang of idiots were opposing these projects as well when they were announced. people who have a problem with with development projects have a choice: they can either stay the hell away from these projects or they can move to a city like hyderabad where there are no highways or bypasses etc. most residents of karachi cannot wait for these projects to materialise.

  13. Abdullah (unregistered) on February 22nd, 2007 @ 4:11 am

    “those who planned it are also architects and townplanners probably more competent than those at IAP”

    Please mention few names and qualifications? Is there anybody with degree in traffic planning?

    If EE is built only for VVIPs its totally waste of money. We should look at other big cities how they manage the traffic issues. An unbiased analysis is desired with only benefit of masses in mind.

  14. Pak_Stallion (unregistered) on February 22nd, 2007 @ 10:11 am

    Those who oppose the development of the nation are either enemies or idiots.

    “Shahrah-e-Faisal which has been there since before Partition was never designed to support an elevated expressway” ??

    This is simply stupid. Prove the comments with facts. If it is a logistic issue – than it is not an issue. Meaning it can be solved via technology or other logical methods. Does not mean we stop the development. Look at developed nations – huge projects are never easy they alway have challenges. The people of Karachi must support it or at least dont complain about your own development.

  15. Adnan (unregistered) on February 22nd, 2007 @ 10:14 am

    @ ABDULLAH : IN other big cities every one follow traffic rules this is how they manage traffic issues

  16. Majaz Amin (unregistered) on February 22nd, 2007 @ 11:14 am

    There is no harm in consulting IAP. There is a solution for every problem. IAP should be listened carefullly and their concerns should be incorporated. No one should take it personally. These matters are technical and lay man cannot comment on technical aspects.

  17. Ib (unregistered) on February 22nd, 2007 @ 12:00 pm

    “The EE is being proposed as a 4 lane highway with two lanes traveling in either direction (The 6-lanes claimed in CDGK publications includes entry and exit lanes). There is no provision for a shoulder or emergency lane. A breakdown or accident on the expressway will result in traffic jams of monumental proportions, with no escape for vehicles and no access for fire tenders or ambulances except from the six exit points.”

    The above mentioned fault in the article is the only one I feel very fearfull. The others can be solved.

    I remember a program I saw in National Geography ‘The great Boston dig’. It was the removal of an EE and buiding it undergroung. So we are so behind from the first world that we are still in the elevated phase, I don’t know how many years it would take to go undergroung?

  18. Ib (unregistered) on February 22nd, 2007 @ 12:03 pm

    Sorry guys discard my first post… a mistake in cut and paste.

  19. BoZz (unregistered) on February 22nd, 2007 @ 1:37 pm

    I have to wonder on the last few posters who have chipped in with a battering ram, all in favor of construction of flyovers etc. in the name of development.

    The latest blog on KMB, cleanly blows out their support and argument for development done in this city in a planned manner, does it not? Besides, I am sure most of us could also point out numerous flaws in design and planning in most of the projects that are undertaken in this city.

    If flyovers are the answer to big cities with large number of vehicles, than how come Paris and London do not have them? Are they, let us say less developed than we are?

    The cities and countries that these people try to emulate are either traveling the same route that we are, i.e. a thoughtless and a corrupt one, or a model whose design and planning is way out of our league.

    To those in favor of random construction, and those that connote construction of flyovers and such with signs of development, need to understand that the prerequisite for above is, that the first developments should take place in the gray matter which sits on top of their heads.

    Without which, and which we undoubtedly lack, these random acts of construction cannot have the honour of being classified as ‘development’.

    I mean you can fool some of the people some of the time but you cannot fool all the people all the time.

  20. mansoor (unregistered) on February 22nd, 2007 @ 3:34 pm

    At first, i thought it was just another of the hue n cry over new projects, but reading over the arguments, three stood out starkly, which i guess should be considered if this new project is to proceed…

    A breakdown or accident on the expressway will result in traffic jams of monumental proportions, with no escape for vehicles and no access for fire tenders or ambulances except from the six exit points.

    The construction of the EE will ruin one of the most attractive boulevards in Karachi. Trees along Shahrah-e-Faisal will be lost. It will effectively place a roof over the existing roadway, cutting off sunlight and breezes

    Much of its length is over Shahrah-e-Faisal which was recently designated as a corridor for high rise commercial development. After its completion, traffic on the EE will whiz past the third and fourth floor of these buildings. The high walls of these building will create a canyon-like effect which will trap pollution and amplify noise.

  21. Concerned (unregistered) on February 22nd, 2007 @ 6:30 pm


    I can always count on you to make uneducated guesses. Finally something reliable in this world.

    Wht part of Paris / UK have you been to. There are number of flyovers and expressways.

    Also why didnt you mention the US too. They have alot more of these.

  22. Kashif-x (unregistered) on February 23rd, 2007 @ 12:45 am

    I am alrdy starting to visualize the whole ugly look the expressway will leave on the only worth mentioning road in karachi.
    It will be dark below the expressway, and the ambience of the shareah will become pathetic.

    Also, i totally agree with IAP that the best option is to develop the Korangi Road into a proper freeway, so that people from DHA/Clifton may not need to come to Sh-e-Faisal for the Airport and Gulshan, therby largly reducing the strain on Sh-e-Faisal.

  23. naveed (unregistered) on February 23rd, 2007 @ 2:02 am

    If an accident on expressway will cause a huge traffic jam, a similar accident on sf will cause a jam twice as bad b/c its traffic volume will be atleast twice. isn’t it?
    about trees and resonance effect i am sure this is not the first expressway in the world. Other expressways also are built over green belts and are as high as 3rd 4th floors. Why do other countries build them?
    My original point is still unanswered. The expressway is there as a solution to a problem i.e. traffic jam on sf esp. during vvip movement. This problem has existed for atleast 5 years during which we have had two city govts. Why have these genious architects in IAP never bothered to give a solution of there own in these 5 years. Do they only know to criticise? Isn’t it there job to find a solution too?
    Abdullah: I think the firm building the expressway is malaysian so i dont know the names of the planners but since they do not belong to IAP that must have pissed the IAP off.

  24. BoZz (unregistered) on February 23rd, 2007 @ 2:20 am

    @CONCERNED – I am in Paris presently and travel here three times a year. London too has been visited numerous times. When was the last time you stepped out of your house?

    Both cities choose and prefer to have bypasses built underground rather than over head. Imagine someone proposes to build a flyover over let us say Champs Elysee or downtown London!

    Expressways, by the way does not refer to flyovers except in your understanding of this concept or lack of it.

    Word of advise – sometimes it is better to keep silent than to open ones mouth and be proven to be thick.

  25. Concerned (unregistered) on February 23rd, 2007 @ 2:44 pm

    @ Bozz

    I live in london, and I have gone over at a dozen flyovers in london. There is also a decent sized expressway too, not in the middle of the city but towards the east.

    As for Paris, just been there once and I remember going over a flyover. It was a long time ago.

    Agreed that it is not in down town areas but hey those cities were planned properly, khi wasnt. And downtown for Khi is saddar and not Shahrah-e-faisal.

    Also you talked abt flyovers in your post not expressways.

    Have you been to Malaysia or the US. The whole idea of expressways came to our ppl from Malaysia, I am guessing you are calling them thoughtless and corrupt.

  26. BoZz (unregistered) on February 23rd, 2007 @ 3:23 pm

    @ CONCERNED – If you care to re-read my bit once again you will see that I spoke of two routes, one like ours and secondly one beyond our league.

    Now, not wishing to bore everyone and take up bandwidth I did not specifically name each and every country. US would fall in the later category.

    By your deduction since Karachi was not planned properly we should continue to do things in a haphazard manner!

    Most sane planners of sane countries try and build flyovers away from main routes. Most European cities are designed around Ring roads approach and flyovers if and when used are expressly to take you up and down again quickly.

  27. Abdul Sami (unregistered) on February 23rd, 2007 @ 5:17 pm

    This project is on cards for more than 1.5 years, what the hell these guys were doing till today?
    This will be built by IJM Malaysia.

  28. Kashif-x (unregistered) on February 24th, 2007 @ 12:35 am







  29. SNA (unregistered) on February 27th, 2007 @ 7:16 pm

    Where IAP was sleeping when Karachi Masterplan was being planned.
    Where was IAP when Karachites were stuck up in traffic jams and inhaling smoke and pollution.
    Where these IAP champions were sleeping when these underpasses were being designed.
    Where was IAP when these pigeon hole like Aprtments cropped up in Karachi like mushrooms.
    Where was this IAP when the Karachi sewerage syetem was choked and Karachites were flushed with 1 hour rain showers.
    There are thousands of such incidences where IAP was not there when required,,,,,,,so now who woke them up from this deep sleep. or is it just a stunt to gain cheap publicity through media.
    God Bless Karachi…..

  30. MB (unregistered) on February 27th, 2007 @ 9:05 pm

    Excellent. . .
    very very pertinent questions….
    But where is the answer….

  31. SNA (unregistered) on February 28th, 2007 @ 11:13 am

    Dear MB !

    Answers should be sought from IAP….They are the one who are making fuss out of this project of Karachi Elevated Expressway.
    This is being built by a Malysian company and the architects and structural consultants are also from Malaysia who have lot of experience with them of designing such structures. They have also attached local counterparts and renowned consultants of Karachi with them who are working on this project with them.
    City needed all this infrastructure 20 years ago,,,,but I beleive in “Better late than Never”. IAP should take this oppurtunity to work with foreing experienced consultants and try to attach some young architects and engineers on this project who can inturn become a resource for future such developments.
    Once again the answers of all my queries is in joining hands with these experts instead of just criticizing them and learning from their experience. How many such expressways IAP experts have designed??
    I agree that the solution of mass movement of people can only be solved through Mass Transit Light Rail or Heavy Rail Systems but these Expressways are also important for the cities.
    Lastly, I pray for my Karachi and sincerely work in my own capacity to nurture it.

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